Background Surgical management of spinal metastasis is complex and can be associated with significant postoperative morbidity. Analyzing readmission rates may serve as a proxy for postoperative morbidity and functional decline, allowing patients and physicians to make informed decisions about treatment. Methods Retrospective analysis was performed of patients with metastatic spine disease surgically treated at a tertiary center from 2003 to 2012. Patients with primary lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, bone marrow cancer, prostate cancer, gynecologic cancer, and melanoma were analyzed. Primary and secondary outcome variables were readmissions and overall survival. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify independent factors associated with readmissions. Results There were 159 patients analyzed. Lung, breast, and kidney represented the most common primary cancer sites, accounting for 22%, 19.5%, and 16.4%. Of patients, 56.6% had at least 1 readmission, with a 30-day readmission rate of 13.8% and 1-year readmission rate of 47.2%. Readmissions were for surgical complications (26.7%), oncologic disease progression (33.7%), and other medical reasons (36.7%). Patients with colorectal cancer had the highest number of readmissions. Patients with melanoma had more readmissions over the course of their limited postoperative survival. Overall mortality was 59.1%, with a median survival of 15.1 months. Multivariate analysis revealed age >60 years and previous radiation of the spine increased the likelihood of readmission. Conclusions Readmissions provide an important window into understanding postoperative morbidity among patients with metastatic disease of the spine. This study offers an important starting point for understanding the nuances of patients' postoperative outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology