Racial Disparities in Outcomes Following Surgical Fixation of Traumatic Thoracolumbar Fractures: A National Database Analysis

Rijul Nanda, Khaled M. Taghlabi, Isuru Somawardana, Lokeshwar S. Bhenderu, Jaime R. Guerrero, Aboud Tahanis, Jesus G. Cruz-Garza, Amir H. Faraji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study aims to assess race as an independent risk factor for postoperative complications after surgical fixation of traumatic thoracolumbar fractures for African American and Asian American patients compared with White patients. Methods: The 2011–2021 American College of Surgeons - National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) dataset was used to identify patients undergoing fusion surgeries for thoracolumbar spine fractures. Patient comorbidity burden was assessed using a modified 5-item frailty index score (mFI-5). Chi-squared and ANOVA tests were used to compare baseline clinical characteristics between groups. Multivariate analysis was performed to compare African American and Asian American patients with White patients controlling for age, BMI, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score. Results: African American patients experienced longer operative times compared to Asian American and White patients (3.74 ± 1.87 hours vs. 3.04 ± 1.71 hours and 3.48 ± 1.81 hours, P < 0.001). African American and Asian American patients demonstrated higher comorbidity burden with mFI-5>2 compared to White patients (30.7% and 25.6% vs. 19.9%, P < 0.001). African American and Asian American patients had a higher risk of postoperative complications than White patients (22.4% and 20% vs. 19.7%, P < 0.001). African American race was an independent risk factor of postoperative 30-day morbidity (OR 1.19, CI 1.11–1.28, P < 0.001). Conclusions: African American and Asian American patients undergoing thoracolumbar fusion surgeries exhibit disproportionate comorbidity burden, longer LOS, and greater postoperative complications compared with White patients. Furthermore, the African American race was associated with an increased rate of 30-day postoperative complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e34-e40
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume188
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Neurosurgery
  • Postoperative outcomes
  • Racial disparities
  • Spine surgery
  • Thoracolumbar fracture fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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