Elderly Age as a Risk Factor for 30-Day Postoperative Outcomes Following Elective Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

John Di Capua, Sulaiman Somani, Jun S. Kim, Kevin Phan, Nathan J. Lee, Parth Kothari, Samuel K. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Objective: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is one of the most commonly performed spinal procedures. Considering the high success and low complications rate of ACDF and high prevalence of age-related degeneration of the cervical spine, the rates of ACDF are expected to continually rise. The objective is to identify the association between patient age and 30-day postoperative outcomes following elective ACDF. Methods: The 2010-2014 ACS-NSQIP database was queried using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes 22551 or 22554. Patients were divided into age quartiles (18-45, 46-52, 53-60, and ≥61 years). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to quantify the increased risk of 30-day postoperative complications in the elderly patient population. Results: A total of 20 563 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. The analyses found quartile 4 had an increased odds of length of stay (LOS) ≥5 days (odds ratio [OR] = 2.05, confidence interval [CI ] = 1.62-2.60), pulmonary complications (OR = 3.25, CI = 1.81-5.84), urinary tract infections (UTI) (OR = 2.25, 1.04-4.87, P =.038), cardiac complication (OR = 6.01, CI = 1.36-26.62, P =.018), and sepsis (OR = 4.38, CI = 1.30-14.70, P =.017). Quartiles 2 and 4 had an increased odds of venous thromboembolism (OR = 3.13, CI = 1.14-8.56, P =.026; OR = 3.83, CI = 1.44-10.20, P =.007). Quartiles 3 and 4 experienced an increased odds of unplanned readmission (OR = 1.44, CI = 1.01-2.05, P =.045; OR = 1.88, CI = 1.33-2.66). All P values are <.001 unless otherwise noted. Conclusion: Elderly patients experienced an increased odds of LOS ≥5 days, pulmonary complications, cardiac compilations, venous thromboembolism, UTI, sepsis, and unplanned readmission. Identification of these factors can improve the selection of appropriate surgical candidates and postoperative safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • ACDF
  • anterior
  • cervical
  • complications
  • elderly
  • fusion
  • outcomes


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