Retrospective study using the MarketScan longitudinal database (2006-2010).Compare complication rates between groups of patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedures performed by surgeons with high versus low mean annual ACDF volume.Over the past decade the volume of ACDFs performed has increased, concurrent with greater appreciation of potential for associated complications. The effect of surgeon procedure volume on adverse events occurrence in the post-operative period has not been described.We evaluated the relationship between surgeon procedure volume and post-operative incidence of any complication using a multivariate logistic regression model. 24,461 patients undergoing single and multiple level ACDFs were identified in the MarketScan database by Current Procedural Terminology coding. Annual surgeon volume was determined by tracking of anonymized surgeon identification numbers, with high-volume surgeons defined as those performing an average of at least 30 ACDF procedures annually.Over 50% of unique surgeon identifiers reported less than 9 ACDF operations per year, while the highest decile reported a range of 44 to 101. High surgeon volume was protective for any complication (OR.72, 95% CI 0.65-0.81 P<0.0001), with an adjusted number needed to harm of 44. Patients treated by high-volume physicians specifically had lower odds of dysphagia (2.22% vs. 3.08%, OR 0.71, P<0.0013), neurological complications (0.33% vs. 0.64%, OR 0.52, P<0.0107), new diagnosis of chronic pain (0.48% vs. 0.82%, OR 0.58, P<0.0119), pulmonary complications (1.10% vs. 1.58%, OR 0.69, P<0.0138), and other wound complications (0.06% vs. 0.22%, OR 0.28, P<0.0242).We demonstrate a possible association between higher surgeon procedure volume and decreased post-operative complications following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. There was no difference observed in need for revision surgery or readmission rates.
View details for PubMedID 25551324