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A study published in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal Spine argues for the importance of careful patient selection, aggressive preoperative medical optimization, and appropriate postoperative management for patients undergoing elective anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). 

The researchers reviewed information on 17,088 patients from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Of 545 patients (3.2 percent) readmitted within 30 days, they noted that 53.8 percent (n = 293) were readmitted for nonsurgical site-related reasons, with neuropsychiatric (n = 44), cardiovascular (n = 39), and pneumonia (n = 37) being the most common reasons. Overall, 33.8 percent (n = 184) were readmitted for surgical site-related reasons, with surgical site infection (n = 42), hemorrhage/hematoma (n = 42), and dysphagia (n = 32) being the most common reasons. The researchers state that 15.6 percent (n = 84) had undocumented reasons for readmission. In multivariate analysis, only older age and higher American Society of Anesthesiologists class were independently associated with readmissions. Learn more...