Schoenfeld et al identified risk factors for complications following spine surgery. These can help to identify a patient who may benefit from more aggressive management. The authors are from William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso.

Risk factors for mortality:

(1) older age

(2) contaminated or infected wounds


Risk factors for major complications:

(1) older age

(2) myocardial infarction and/or congestive heart failure

(3) preoperative neurologic issue

(4) history of prior wound infection

(5) corticosteroid therapy

(6) history of sepsis

(7) ASA >=3

(8) prolonged operative time


Risk factors for minor complications:

(1) female sex

(2) corticosteroid therapy

(3) history of sepsis

(4) ASA >= 3

(5) prolonged operative time


Additional risk factors (from univariate analysis):

(1) serum albumin < 3 g/dL

(2) COPD

(3) renal insufficiency

(4) peripheral vascular disease

(5) diabetes

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