Increasing Cost Efficiency in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Identifying Predictors of Lower Total Costs.


Study design

Retrospective study of a prospective multicenter database.


The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of lower total surgery costs at 3 years for adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients.

Summary of background data

ASD surgery involves complex deformity correction.


Inclusion criteria: surgical ASD (scoliosis ≥20°, sagittal vertical axis [SVA] ≥5 cm, pelvic tilt ≥25°, or thoracic kyphosis ≥60°) patients >18 years. Total costs for surgery were calculated using the PearlDiver database. Cost per quality-adjusted life year was assessed. A Conditional Variable Importance Table used nonreplacement sampling set of 20,000 Conditional Inference trees to identify top factors associated with lower cost surgery for low (LSVA), moderate (MSVA), and high (HSVA) SRS Schwab SVA grades.


Three hundred sixtee of 322 ASD patients met inclusion criteria. At 3-year follow up, the potential cost of ASD surgery ranged from $57,606.88 to $116,312.54. The average costs of surgery at 3 years was found to be $72,947.87, with no significant difference in costs between deformity groups (P > 0.05). There were 152 LSVA patients, 53 MSVA patients, and 111 HSVA patients. For all patients, the top predictors of lower costs were frailty scores <0.19, baseline (BL) SRS Activity >1.5, BL Oswestry Disability Index <50 (all P < 0.05). For LSVA patients, no history of osteoporosis, SRS Activity scores >1.5, age <64, were the top predictors of lower costs (all P < 0.05). Among MSVA patients, ASD invasiveness scores <94.16, no past history of cancer, and frailty scores <0.3 trended toward lower total costs (P = 0.071, P = 0.210). For HSVA, no history of smoking and body mass index <27.8 trended toward lower costs (both P = 0.060).


ASD surgery has the potential for improved cost efficiency, as costs ranged from $57,606.88 to $116,312.54. Predictors of lower costs included higher BL SRS activity, decreased frailty, and not having depression. Additionally, predictors of lower costs were identified for different BL deformity profiles, allowing for the optimization of cost efficiency for all patients.Level of Evidence: 3.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Passias, Peter G, Avery E Brown, Cole Bortz, Haddy Alas, Katherine Pierce, Waleed Ahmad, Sara Naessig, Renaud Lafage, et al. (2022). Increasing Cost Efficiency in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Identifying Predictors of Lower Total Costs. Spine, 47(1). pp. 21–26. 10.1097/brs.0000000000004201 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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