Prospective observational study.To determine how patient comorbidities and perioperative complications after spinal surgery affect the health care costs to society.Despite efforts to reduce adverse events related to spinal surgery, complications are common and significantly increased by patient comorbidities.Patients who underwent spinal surgery at a tertiary academic center during a 6-month period (May 2008 to December 2008) were prospectively followed. All demographic data, comorbidities, procedural information, and complications to 30-day follow-up were recorded. Diagnosis-Related Group codes and Current Procedural Terminology codes were captured for each patient. Direct costs were estimated from a societal perspective, using 2008 Medicare rates of reimbursement. A multivariable analysis was performed to assess the impact of specific patient comorbidities and complications on total health care costs.A total of 226 cases were analyzed. The mean cost of care for cases with complications was greater than that for cases without complications ($13,518.35 [95% confidence interval (CI), $9378.80-$17,657.90]; P < 0.0001). These results were consistent across degenerative, traumatic, and tumor/infection preoperative diagnoses. Cases with major complications were more costly than those with minor complications ($13,714.88 [CI, $6353.02-$21,076.74]; P = 0.0001). Systemic malignancy and preoperative neurological comorbidity were each associated with an increase in the cost of care ($7919 [CI, $2073-$15,225]; P = 0.006] and $5508 [CI, $814-$11,198; P = 0.02]), respectively, when compared with a baseline cost of care derived from all cases in the database. The cost of care was increased by pulmonary complications ($7233 [CI, $3982.53-$11,152.88]; P < 0.0001), instrumentation malposition ($6968 [CI, $1705.90-$14,277.16]; P = 0.0062), new neurological deficit ($4537 [CI, $863.95-$9274.30]; P = 0.013), and by wound infection ($4067 [CI, $1682.79-$6872.39]; P = 0.0004), after adjustment for covariates.Both minor and major complications were found to increase the cost of care in a prospective assessment of spine surgery complications. Specific patient comorbidities and perioperative complications are associated with significant increases in the total cost of care to society.
View details for DOI 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31823da22d
View details for Web of Science ID 000304364800019
View details for PubMedID 22045005