Thirty day postoperative outcomes following anterior lumbar interbody fusion using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2016 Apr:143:126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2016.02.024. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Objective: Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a common procedure used to treat various lumbar degenerative pathologies. The purpose of this study is to describe 30-day postoperative outcomes following ALIF on a national scale.

Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) was searched for ALIF patients between 2005 and 2011. The top preoperative diagnoses were determined using ICD-9 codes. All available 30-day complications were grouped as overall composite morbidity and were compared between preoperative diagnosis groups by univariable and multivariable analyses.

Results: There were a total of 1352 ALIF patients. Overall, 6.73% of patients experienced a postoperative complication. Unplanned reoperations (2.48%), urinary tract infection (1.55%), superficial surgical site infection (1.41%), and sepsis (1.11%) were the most common morbidity events. The morbidity rates for each sub-group were: intervertebral disc degeneration (4.41%), spondylosis (6.72%), lumbosacral spinal stenosis(8.21%), and spondylolisthesis (8.41%). After extensive adjustment for patient characteristics and preoperative morbidities, multivariable analysis revealed spondylolisthesis (OR=3.29; 95% CI:1.04-10.46) and spinal stenosis (OR=3.76; 95% CI:1.33-10.63) to be associated with significantly higher overall morbidity odds when compared with lumbar disc degeneration. Lumbosacral spondylosis was associated with similar outcomes as degenerative disc disease (OR =1.70; 95% CI:0.48-6.06).

Conclusions: Diverse postoperative complications need to be managed following ALIF. Patients with spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis may carry increased 30-day postoperative morbidity profiles in ALIF when compared to those with degenerative disc disease. Prospective studies are needed to better delineate the outcomes of ALIF procedures, particularly in the spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis patient populations.

Keywords: Anterior lumbar interbody fusion; NSQIP; National surgical quality improvement project; Outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Databases, Factual / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Quality Improvement / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Diseases / surgery
  • Spinal Fusion / adverse effects*
  • Spinal Fusion / trends*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome