Validation of Adult Spinal Deformity Surgical Outcome Prediction Tools in Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis.


Study design

A post hoc analysis.


Advances in machine learning (ML) have led to tools offering individualized outcome predictions for adult spinal deformity (ASD). Our objective is to examine the properties of these ASD models in a cohort of adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) patients.

Summary of background data

ML algorithms produce patient-specific probabilities of outcomes, including major complication (MC), reoperation (RO), and readmission (RA) in ASD. External validation of these models is needed.


Thirty-nine predictive factors (12 demographic, 9 radiographic, 4 health-related quality of life, 14 surgical) were retrieved and entered into web-based prediction models for MC, unplanned RO, and hospital RA. Calculated probabilities were compared with actual event rates. Discrimination and calibration were analyzed using receiver operative characteristic area under the curve (where 0.5=chance, 1=perfect) and calibration curves (Brier scores, where 0.25=chance, 0=perfect). Ninety-five percent confidence intervals are reported.


A total of 169 of 187 (90%) surgical patients completed 2-year follow up. The observed rate of MCs was 41.4% with model predictions ranging from 13% to 68% (mean: 38.7%). RO was 20.7% with model predictions ranging from 9% to 54% (mean: 30.1%). Hospital RA was 17.2% with model predictions ranging from 13% to 50% (mean: 28.5%). Model classification for all three outcome measures was better than chance for all [area under the curve=MC 0.6 (0.5-0.7), RA 0.6 (0.5-0.7), RO 0.6 (0.5-0.7)]. Calibration was better than chance for all, though best for RA and RO (Brier Score=MC 0.22, RA 0.16, RO 0.17).


ASD prediction models for MC, RA, and RO performed better than chance in a cohort of adult lumbar scoliosis patients, though the homogeneity of ASLS affected calibration and accuracy. Optimization of models require samples with the breadth of outcomes (0%-100%), supporting the need for continued data collection as personalized prediction models may improve decision-making for the patient and surgeon alike.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Wondra, James P, Michael P Kelly, Jacob Greenberg, Elizabeth L Yanik, Christopher P Ames, Ferran Pellise, Alba Vila-Casademunt, Justin S Smith, et al. (2023). Validation of Adult Spinal Deformity Surgical Outcome Prediction Tools in Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis. Spine, 48(1). pp. 21–28. 10.1097/brs.0000000000004416 Retrieved from

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Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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