Complications associated with surgical treatment of traumatic spinal fractures: a review of the scoliosis research society morbidity and mortality database.


Journal Article

Traumatic spinal fracture is a common indication for surgery, with an associated high incidence of perioperative complications. The literature provides a wide range in the incidence of complications. We seek to assess the perioperative morbidity and mortality of surgery for traumatic spinal fractures and to identify predictors of their occurrence.We performed a retrospective analysis of all traumatic spinal fracture cases submitted by members of the Scoliosis Research Society from 2004 to 2007.A total of 108,478 cases were submitted from 2004 through 2007, with 6,706 (6.2%) performed for treatment of traumatic fracture. Twenty-two percent of patients had preoperative neurological deficits. Intraoperative neuromonitoring was used in 58% of cases. The overall incidence of complications was 6.9%. The perioperative mortality was 0.5%. There were 59 (0.9%) new postoperative neurological deficits. Multivariate analysis demonstrated preoperative neurological deficit (P = .001; odds ratio [OR] 1.449, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.156 to 1.817]) and fusion (P =.001; OR 1.12, 95% CI [1.072 to 1.168]) as predictors of complications and use of intraoperative neuromonitoring (P = .016; OR 1.949, 95% CI [1.13 to 3.361]), and preoperative neurological deficit (P < .001; OR 2.964, 95% CI [1.667 to 5.271]) as predictors of new postoperative neurological deficits (P < .001).Overall, surgery for the treatment of spinal fractures was performed with relatively low incidences of perioperative complications (6.9%) and mortality (0.5%). These data may prove useful for patient counseling and ongoing efforts to improve the safety of operative care for patients with spinal fracture.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williams, BJ; Smith, JS; Saulle, D; Ames, CP; Lenke, LG; Broadstone, PA; Vaccaro, AR; Polly, DW; Shaffrey, CI

Published Date

  • May 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 5-6

Start / End Page

  • 818 - 824

PubMed ID

  • 23396067

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23396067

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-8750

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2013.02.013


  • eng