Higher volume of scoliosis surgeries linked to reduced reoperation rates
Adolescent patients who need scoliosis surgery may benefit most from going to a hospital that performs a high volume of the procedures, according to new research from NYU Langone spine surgeons presented March 24 at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2015 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
Researchers looked at a New York State database of hospital discharges and identified 3,928 surgeries for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, and found reoperation rates were significantly lower among surgeons who perform a high volume of the procedures.
Specifically, 14.1 percent of patients who saw a surgeon that performed a low volume of the procedures (less than 6 per year) needed a new operation, compared to 5.1 percent of patients who saw a surgeon that performed more than 43 surgeries per year.
Previously, higher surgical volumes had been associated with reduced perioperative complications, but studies had not shown whether that resulted in fewer reoperations.
"Families and patients making the informed decision of undergoing scoliosis surgery are faced with many choices, including when to have the surgery and which hospital to entrust with their care," says Thomas J. Errico, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery, and Chief of the Spine Division at NYU Langone. "Our findings emphasize that seeing an experienced spine surgeon, like those at our NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases, may reduce an adolescent patient's need for a revision surgery and reduce overall complications."