Objective: 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. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all traumatic spinal fracture cases submitted by members of the Scoliosis Research Society from 2004 to 2007. Results: 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). Conclusions: 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.
- Spine surgery
- Spine trauma