Correction of rigid cervical deformities can be associated with high complication rates and result in prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays. In this study, the authors aimed to examine the risk factors contributing to length of stay (LOS) in both the hospital and ICU following adult cervical deformity (ACD) surgery and to identify severe adverse events that occurred in this setting.
A retrospective review of ACD patients who underwent posterior-based osteotomies for deformity correction from 2010 to 2019 was performed. Inclusion criteria were cervical kyphosis > 20° and/or cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) > 4 cm. Multivariate analysis was used to identify risk factors independently associated with ICU and hospital LOS.
A total of 107 patients were included. The mean age was 63.5 years, and 61.7% were female. Over half (52.3%) underwent 3-column osteotomies, while 47.7% underwent posterior column osteotomies. There was significant correction of all cervical parameters: cSVA (6.0 vs 3.6 cm, p < 0.001), cervical lordosis (8.2° vs −5.3°, p < 0.001), cervical scoliosis (6.5° vs 2.2°, p < 0.001), and T1-slope (40.2° vs 34.5°, p < 0.001). There were also reciprocal changes to the distal spine: thoracic kyphosis (54.4° vs 46.4°, p < 0.001), lumbar lordosis (49.9° vs 45.8°, p = 0.003), and thoracolumbar scoliosis (13.9° vs 11.1°, p = 0.009). Overall, 4 patients (3.7%) suffered aspiration-related complications, 3 patients (2.8%) experienced dysphagia requiring a feeding tube, and 4 patients (3.7%) had compromised airways, with 1 resulting in death. The mean ICU and hospital LOS were 2.8 days and 7.9 days, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified three factors independently associated with longer ICU LOS: female sex (3.0 vs 2.4 days, p = 0.004), ≥ 12 segments fused (3.5 vs 1.9 days, p = 0.002), and postoperative complication (4.0 vs 1.9 days, p = 0.017). These same factors were independently associated with longer hospital LOS as well: female sex (8.3 vs 7.3 days, p = 0.013), ≥ 12 segments fused (9.4 vs 6.2 days, p = 0.001), and complication (9.7 vs 6.7 days, p = 0.026).
Posterior-based osteotomies are very effective for the correction of ACD, but postoperative hospital stays are relatively longer than those following surgery for degenerative disease. Risk factors for prolonged ICU and hospital LOS consist of both nonmodifiable (female sex) and modifiable (≥ 12 segments fused and presence of complication) risk factors. Additional multicenter prospective studies will be needed to validate these findings.