Objective: To investigate the impact of race on 30-day postoperative complication rates of elective posterior spinal fusions (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Methods: Patients who underwent PSF between 2012 and 2018 were reviewed from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program pediatric database. Propensity score matching was utilized to evaluate whether patient race (i.e., black vs. white) was correlated with postoperative complications. Results: A total of 4051 PSF for AIS cases met criteria for inclusion. Of these, 3221 (79.5%) patients were white and 830 (20.5%) were black. Several baseline characteristics significantly differed between cohorts. Patients in the black cohort had a significantly higher body mass index, a greater proportion of female patients, higher ASA scores, preoperative diagnosis of asthma or cardiac risk factors, and prior use of steroids. The total number of vertebral segments fused was also greater in the black cohort. After controlling for differences in baseline characteristics with propensity score matching analysis, the only significant difference in morbidity and mortality identified was a higher incidence of venous thromboembolism among the black cohort (2.8% vs. 0.1%; P < 0.001). Conclusions: In contrast to prior literature, our analysis did not identify black race as an independent risk factor for higher perioperative morbidity or mortality in patients of young age group undergoing elective PSF for AIS, except the higher incidence of venous thromboembolism. The findings of the present study suggest that previously reported perioperative morbidity and mortality outcomes in black patients may be secondary to baseline health characteristics, and not due to race itself.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)
- Posterior spinal fusion (PSF)
- Propensity score matching
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology