Quality metrics in adult spinal deformity surgery over the last decade: a combined analysis of the largest prospective multicenter data sets.



The reported rate of complications and cost of adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery, associated with an exponential increase in the number of surgeries, cause alarm among healthcare payers and providers worldwide. The authors conjointly analyzed the largest prospective available ASD data sets to define trends in quality-of-care indicators (complications, reinterventions, and health-related quality of life [HRQOL] outcomes) since 2010.


This is an observational prospective longitudinal cohort study. Patients underwent surgery between January 2010 and December 2016, with > 2 years of follow-up data. Demographic, surgical, radiological, and HRQOL (i.e., Oswestry Disability Index, SF-36, Scoliosis Research Society-22r) data obtained preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery were evaluated. Trends and changes in indicators were analyzed using local regression (i.e., locally estimated scatterplot smoothing [LOESS]) and adjusted odds ratio (OR).


Of the 2286 patients included in the 2 registries, 1520 underwent surgery between 2010 and 2016. A total of 1151 (75.7%) patients who were treated surgically at 23 centers in 5 countries met inclusion criteria. Patient recruitment increased progressively (2010-2011 vs 2015-2016: OR 1.64, p < 0.01), whereas baseline clinical characteristics (age, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, HRQOL scores, sagittal deformity) did not change. Since 2010 there has been a sustained reduction in major and minor postoperative complications observed at 90 days (major: OR 0.59; minor: OR 0.65; p < 0.01); at 1 year (major: OR 0.52; minor: 0.75; p < 0.01); and at 2 years of follow-up (major: OR 0.4; minor: 0.80; p < 0.01) as well as in the 2-year reintervention rate (OR 0.41, p < 0.01). Simultaneously, there has been a slight improvement in the correction of sagittal deformity (i.e., pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch: OR 1.11, p = 0.19) and a greater gain in quality of life (i.e., Oswestry Disability Index 26% vs 40%, p = 0.02; Scoliosis Research Society-22r, self-image domain OR 1.16, p = 0.13), and these are associated with a progressive reduction of surgical aggressiveness (number of fused segments: OR 0.81, p < 0.01; percent pelvic fixation: OR 0.66, p < 0.01; percent 3-column osteotomies: OR 0.63, p < 0.01).


The best available data show a robust global improvement in quality metrics in ASD surgery over the last decade. Surgical complications and reoperations have been reduced by half, while improvement in disability increased and correction rates were maintained, in patients with similar baseline characteristics.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Pellisé, Ferran, Miquel Serra-Burriel, Alba Vila-Casademunt, Jeffrey L Gum, Ibrahim Obeid, Justin S Smith, Frank S Kleinstück, Shay Bess, et al. (2021). Quality metrics in adult spinal deformity surgery over the last decade: a combined analysis of the largest prospective multicenter data sets. Journal of neurosurgery. Spine, 36(2). pp. 1–9. 10.3171/2021.3.spine202140 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28070.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



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.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.