Analysis of risk factors for perioperative complications in spine surgery

Nicole Lange, Thomas Stadtmüller, Stefanie Scheibel, Gerda Reischer, Arthur Wagner, Bernhard Meyer, Jens Gempt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Complications in spine surgery can arise in the intraoperative or the immediate postoperative period or in a delayed manner. These complications may lead to severe or even permanent morbidity if left undiagnosed and untreated. We prospectively interviewed 526 patients out of 1140 patients who consecutively underwent spinal surgery in our department between November 2017 and November 2018 and analysed the outcome and complication rates. A 12 months follow-up period was also adopted. We analysed the patients’ clinical characteristics, comorbidities, surgical management, survival rates, and outcomes. Risk factor analyses for the development of complications were also performed. Patients’ median age was 67 years (range: 13–96). The main diagnoses were as follows: degenerative in 50%, tumour in 22%, traumatic fractures in 13%, infections in 10%, reoperations in 3%, and others in 2%. Surgeries were emergency procedures (within 24 h) in 12%. Furthermore, 59% required instrumentation. The overall postoperative complication rate was 26%. Revision surgery was required in 12% of cases within 30 postoperative days (median time to revision 11 days [IQR 5–15 days]). The most frequent complications included wound healing disorders, re-bleeding, and CSF leakage. Thereby, the risk factor analysis revealed age-adjusted CCI (p = 0.01), metastatic tumour (p = 0.01), and atrial fibrillation (p = 0.02) as significant risk factors for postoperative complications. Additionally, postoperative KPS (p = 0.004), postoperative anaemia (p = 0.001), the length of hospital stay (p = 0.02), and duration of surgery (p = 00.002) were also identified as associated factors. Complication rates after spinal surgeries are still high, especially in patients with metastatic tumour disease and poor clinical status (KPS), requiring revision surgeries in several cases. Therefore, specific risk factors should be determined to carefully select surgery groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14350
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of risk factors for perioperative complications in spine surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this