The Case for Operative Efficiency in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Impact of Operative Time on Complications, Length of Stay, Alignment, Fusion Rates, and Patient Reported Outcomes.


Study design

Retrospective review of prospectively collected data.


To analyze the impact of operative room (OR) time in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery on patient outcomes.


It is currently unknown if OR time in ASD patients matched for deformity severity and surgical invasiveness is associated with patient outcomes.


ASD patients with baseline and 2-year postoperative radiographic and patient reported outcome measures (PROM) data, undergoing posterior only approach for long fusion (> L1- Ilium) were included. Patients were grouped into Short OR Time (<40 th percentile: <359 min) and Long OR Time (>60 th percentile: > 421 min). Groups were matched by age, baseline deformity severity, and surgical invasiveness. Demographics, radiographic, PROM data, fusion rate, and complications were compared between groups at baseline and 2-years follow-up.


In total, 270 patients were included for analysis: mean OR time was 286 minutes in the Short OR group vs 510 minutes in the Long OR group ( P <0.001). Age, gender, percent of revision cases, surgical invasiveness, PI-LL, SVA and PT were comparable between groups ( P >0.05). Short OR had a slightly lower BMI than the short OR group ( P <0.001) and decompression was more prevalent in the long OR time ( P =0.042). Patients in the Long group had greater hospital length of stay (LOS) ( P =0.02); blood loss ( P <0.001); proportion requiring ICU ( P =0.003); higher minor complication rate ( P =0.001); with no significant differences for major complications or revision procedures ( P >0.5). Both groups had comparable radiographic fusion rates ( P =0.152) and achieved improvement in sagittal alignment measures, ODI and SF36 ( P <0.001).


Shorter OR time for ASD correction is associated with lower minor complication rate, lower EBL, fewer ICU admissions, and shorter hospital LOS without sacrificing alignment correction or PROMS. Maximizing operative efficiency by minimizing OR time in ASD surgery has the potential to benefit patients, surgeons, and hospital systems.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Daniels, Alan H, Mohammad Daher, Manjot Singh, Mariah Balmaceno-Criss, Renaud Lafage, Bassel G Diebo, David K Hamilton, Justin S Smith, et al. (2023). The Case for Operative Efficiency in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Impact of Operative Time on Complications, Length of Stay, Alignment, Fusion Rates, and Patient Reported Outcomes. Spine. 10.1097/brs.0000000000004873 Retrieved from

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Peter Passias

Instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

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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