Defining a Surgical Invasiveness Threshold for Increased Risk of a Major Complication Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery

and the International Spine Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to define a surgical invasiveness threshold that predicts major complications after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery; use this threshold to categorize patients into quartiles by invasiveness; and determine the odds of major complications by quartile. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Understanding the relationship between surgical invasiveness and major complications is important for estimating the likelihood of major complications after ASD surgery. METHODS: Using a multicenter database, we identified 574 ASD patients (more than 5 levels fused; mean age, 60 ± 15 years) with minimum 2-year follow-up. Invasiveness was calculated as the ASD Surgical and Radiographic (ASD-SR) score. Youden index was used to identify the invasiveness score cut-off associated with optimal sensitivity and specificity for predicting major complications. Resulting high- and low-invasiveness groups were divided in half to create quartiles. Odds of developing a major complication were analyzed for each quartile using logistic regression (alpha = 0.05). RESULTS: The ASD-SR cutoff score that maximally predicted major complications was 90 points. ASD-SR quartiles were 0 to 65 (Q1), 66 to 89 (Q2), 90 to 119 (Q3), and ≥120 (Q4). Risk of a major complication was 17% in Q1, 21% in Q2, 35% in Q3, and 33% in Q4 (P < 0.001). Comparisons of adjacent quartiles showed an increase in the odds of a major complication from Q2 to Q3 (odds ratio [OR] 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0-3.0), but not from Q1 to Q2 or from Q3 to Q4. Patients with ASD-SR scores ≥90 were 1.9 times as likely to have a major complication than patients with scores <90 (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.9). Mean ASD-SR scores above and below 90 points were 121 ± 25 and 63 ± 17, respectively. CONCLUSION: The odds of major complications after ASD surgery are significantly greater when the procedure has an ASD-SR score ≥90. ASD-SR score can be used to counsel patients regarding these increased odds.Level of Evidence: 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-938
Number of pages8
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2021


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