Marked Increase in Spinal Deformity Surgery Throughout the United States

Alexander Beschloss, Christina Dicindio, Joseph Lombardi, Arya Varthi, Ali Ozturk, Ronald Lehman, Lawrence Lenke, Comron Saifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Study Design.Retrospective cohort database study.Objective.The aim of this study was to investigate trends in utilization and demographics in Spinal Deformity Surgery.Summary of Background Data.The aging population in the United States will likely result in increased incidence of adult degenerative scoliosis. With a national focus on resource utilization and value-based care, it is essential for surgeons, researchers, and health care policy makers to know utilization and demographic trends of spinal surgery with long fusion construct.Methods.The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was queried for patients who underwent fusion or refusion of nine or more vertebrae (ICD-9-CM 81.64) between 2004 and 2015 across 44 states. Demographic and economic data include annual number of surgeries, incidence, patient age, sex, region, insurance type, charge, routine discharge, length of stay, and data. The NIS database represents a 20% sample of discharges from US hospitals, excluding rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals, which is weighted to provide national estimates.Result.In 2014, there were 14,615 fusions involving nine or more vertebrae across the United States. The number of fusions involving nine or more levels has increased 141% from 6072 in 2004. Long fusion constructs increased 460% from 2004 to 2014 among patients 65 to 84 years' old. The mean hospital cost associated with long fusion spine surgery was $69,546 per case in 2015. Between 2004 and 2014, the payer breakdown for individuals receiving spinal deformity surgery is as follows: 54.2% private insurance, 18% Medicare, and 21.2% Medicaid.Conclusion.The massive increase (141%) in utilization of long construct spine fusion was primarily driven by 460% rise in incidence of the surgery among those aged 65 to 84. Although the cause is unknown, it is possible that this rise was, at least in part, driven by the implementation of the affordable care act, improved surgical safety, and better knowledge of spinopelvic parameters.Level of Evidence: 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1408
Number of pages7
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • adult degenerative scoliosis
  • demographics
  • fusion
  • scoliosis
  • spine deformity
  • trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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