Spinal fusion for pediatric spondylolisthesis: National trends, complications, and short-term outcomes

Kavelin Rumalla, Chester K. Yarbrough, Andrew J. Pugely, Ian G. Dorward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Current surgical management guidelines for pediatric spondylolisthesis (PS) are reliant on data from single-center cohorts. OBJECTIVE: To analyze national trends and predictors of short-term outcomes in spinal fusion surgery for PS by performing a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID). METHODS: The KID (sampled every 3 yr) was queried from 2003 to 2012 to identify all cases (age 5-17) of spinal fusion for PS (n = 2646). We analyzed trends in patient characteristics, surgical management, and short-term outcomes. Both univariate and multivariable analyses were utilized. RESULTS: The 2646 spinal fusions for PS included posterior-only fusions (86.8%, PSF), anterior lumbar interbody fusions (4.8%, ALIF), and combined anterior and posterior fusions (8.4%, APLF) procedures. The utilization of APLF decreased over time (9.9%-6.4%, P = .023), whereas the number of total spinal fusions and the proportion of PSF and ALIF procedures have not changed significantly. Uptrends in Medicaid insured individuals (1.2%-18.9%), recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 insertion (8.8%-16.6%), decompression (34.7%-42.8%), and mean inflation-adjusted hospital costs ($21 855-$32 085) were identified (all P < .001). In multivariable analysis, Medicaid status (odds ratio [OR] = 1.93, P = .004), teaching hospitals (OR = 1.94, P = .01), decompression (OR = 1.78, P = .004), and the APLF procedure (OR = 2.47, P= .001) increased the likelihood of complication occurrence (all P < .001). CONCLUSION: The addition of decompression during fusion and the APLF procedure were associated with more in-hospital complications, though this may have been indicative of greater surgical complexity. The utilization of the APLF procedure has decreased significantly, while costs associated with the treatment of PS have increased over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-708
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Complication
  • Epidemiology
  • Kids inpatient database
  • Outcome
  • Pediatric
  • Spinal fusion
  • Spondylolisthesis


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