Surgical outcomes of long spinal fusions for scoliosis in adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Addisu Mesfin, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Amit Jain, Hamid Hassanzadeh, John P. Kostuik, Mesfin A. Lemma, Khaled M. Kebaish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECT: In this study, the authors compared outcomes and complications in patients with and without rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who underwent surgery for spinal deformity. METHODS: The authors searched the Johns Hopkins University database for patients with RA (Group RA) and without RA (Group NoRA) who underwent long spinal fusion for scoliosis by 3 surgeons at 1 institution from 2000 through 2012. Groups RA and NoRA each had 14 patients who were well matched with regard to sex (13 women/1 man and 12 women/2 men, respectively), age (mean 66.3 years [range 40.5-81.9 years] and 67.6 years [range 51-81 years]), follow-up duration (mean 35.4 months [range 1-87 months] and 44 months [range 24-51 months]), and number of primary (8 and 8) and revision (6 and 6) surgeries. Surgical outcomes, invasiveness scores, and complications were compared between the groups using the nonpaired Student t-test (p < 0.05). RESULTS: For Groups RA and NoRA, there were no significant differences in the average number of levels fused (10.6 [range 9-17] vs 10.3 [range 7-17], respectively; p = 0.4), the average estimated blood loss (2892 ml [range 1300-5000 ml] vs 3100 ml [range 1700-5200 ml]; p = 0.73), or the average invasiveness score (35.5 [range 21-51] vs 34.5 [range 23-58]; p = 0.8). However, in Group RA, the number of major complications was significantly higher (23 vs 11; p < 0.001), the number of secondary procedures was significantly higher (14 vs 6; p < 0.001), and the number of minor complications was significantly lower (4 vs 12; p < 0.001) than those in Group NoRA. CONCLUSIONS: Long spinal fusion in patients with RA is associated with higher rates of major complications and secondary procedures than in patients without RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Complications
  • Deformity
  • Long spinal fusion
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Surgical outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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