Vertebral Osteomyelitis: A Comparison of Associated Outcomes in Early Versus Delayed Surgical Treatment.

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Vertebral Osteomyelitis: A Comparison of Associated Outcomes in Early Versus Delayed Surgical Treatment.

Int J Spine Surg. 2018 Dec;12(6):703-712

Authors: Segreto FA, Beyer GA, Grieco P, Horn SR, Bortz CA, Jalai CM, Passias PG, Paulino CB, Diebo BG

Background: The recommended timing of surgical intervention for vertebral osteomyelitis (VO) is controversial; however, most studies are not sufficiently powered. Our goal was to investigate the associated effects of delaying surgery in VO patients on in-hospital complications, neurologic deficits, and mortality.
Methods: Retrospective review of the National Inpatient Sample. Patients who underwent surgery for VO from 1998 to 2013 were identified using codes from the International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification. Patients were stratified into groups based on incremental delay of surgery: 0-day delay (same-day surgery), 1-day delay, 2-day delay, 3- to 6-day delay, 7- to 14-day delay, and 14- to 30-day delay. Univariate analysis compared demographics and outcomes between groups. Multivariate logistic regression models calculated independent predictors of any complication, mortality, and neurologic deficits. A 0-day delay was the reference group.
Results: A total of 34 465 patients were identified. Delayed groups were older (same day: 53.5 vs. 7-14-day delay: 61.1) and had a higher Deyo-Charlson score (same day: 0.4901 vs. 14-30-day delay: 1.66), length of stay (same day: 4.2 vs. 14-30-day delay: 34.04 days), and total charges (same day: $63,390.78 vs. 14-30-day delay: $245,752.4), all P < .001. Delayed groups had higher surgical combined-approach rates (same day: 9.1% vs. 14-30-day delay: 31.5%) and lower anterior-approach rates (same day: 42.4% vs. 14-30-day delay: 24.2%). Delayed groups had increased mortality and complication rates. Regressions showed delayed groups as the strongest independent indicators of any complication (14-30-day delay: odds ratio [OR] 3.384), mortality (14-30-day delay: OR 10.658), and neurologic deficits (14-30-day delay: OR 3.464), all P < .001.
Conclusion: VO patients who operate within 24 hours of admission are more likely to have desirable outcomes. Patients with delayed surgery had a significantly increased risk of developing any complication, mortality, and discharging with neurologic deficits.
Level of Evidence: III.
Clinical Relevance: Medically fit patients may benefit from earlier surgical management in order to reduce risk of postoperative complications, improve outcomes, and reduce overall hospital costs.

PMID: 30619674 [PubMed]

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