Large study notes risks of postoperative infection following spine surgery

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SAN FRANCISCO—A review of more than 108,000 cases of spine surgery from the Scoliosis Research Society database has shown an overall infection rate of 2.2%, which may provide evidence against these occurrences as being labeled “never events,” according to an orthopedic investigator.

“Despite the best care, all surgical procedures have the inherent risk of complications,” Justin Smith, MD, PhD, said. “Knowing these complication rates is important for a number of reasons including patient counseling, quality improvements and potential medicolegal issues.”

Smith presented data from the 108,419-case Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) database to the 24th Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society, here. The SRS data were collected from its members and included in the organization’s Morbidity and Mortality Committee report. The data were collected prospectively from multiple centers and retrospectively reviewed for this report.

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