As more patients undergo anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) procedures and more devices are created for that purpose, it is important to understand the complications that can arise and the variables that mitigate risk for major and minor complications.
To assess complication rates after ALIF with or without posterior instrumentation and variables associated with increased likelihood of postoperative complications. We aim to provide this data as benchmarking to improve patient safety and surgical care.
A single-center retrospective cohort study.
All adult patients who underwent ALIF between 2017 and 2019 was performed OUTCOME MEASURES: Postoperative major and minor complications were evaluated.
Complications were recorded and presented as percentages. Patient demographics, perioperative, and postoperative data were also collected and analyzed between patients who had no complications and those that had any complication. Subgroup analysis of surgical complications were performed by nonparametric Chi-square tests. Continuous variables were compared using Mann-Whitney U tests.
95/362 (26.2%) of patients experienced a minor or major complication. Among the most common complications found were surgical site infections (5.8%), neurological complications (4.1%), vascular complications (3.6%), and urinary tract infections (3.3%). Patients undergoing ALIF alone with postoperative complications had higher mean age, higher BMI, higher ASA status, and experienced higher estimated blood loss. Patients undergoing ALIF and posterior instrumentation with postoperative complications were more likely to have diabetes and had a higher ASA status. Patients with any complications from both groups had longer length of stay, discharge to a non-home setting and were more likely to be readmitted or return to the operating room.
Our study reveals variables associated with complications at our institution, including age of the patient, BMI, and ASA status leading to higher complications and greater LOS, higher readmission rates, and disposition to skilled facilities.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.