National trends following decompression, discectomy, and fusion in octogenarians and nonagenarians

Doniel Drazin, Carlito Lagman, Siddharth Bhargava, Miriam A Nuno, Terrence T. Kim, J. Patrick Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database is used to evaluate a wide variety of surgical procedures across a range of specialties. The authors of this study assess national trends of the three commonest spine procedures performed (decompression, fusion, and discectomy) in patients between the ages of 80 and 100 years (octogenarians and nonagenarians). Methods: The NIS database was queried to identify patients between the ages of 80 and 100 with a primary diagnosis of spinal stenosis, disk herniation without myelopathy, or protrusion due to degeneration of spine/disk disorders and who have undergone spinal decompression, fusion, or discectomy between the years 1998 and 2011. Variables of concern included length-of-stay (LOS), non-routine discharge, average total charges, in-hospital complications, and mortality rate. Results: Decompression was the most common procedure performed (n = 113,267, 50.5%). Fusion (n = 60,345, 26.9%) was associated with the longest LOS (5.1 days), highest in-hospital complication and mortality rates (n = 13,170, 21.8% and n = 449, 0.7%, respectively), most non-routine discharges (n = 42,662, 70.7%), and highest mean for average total charges ($69,295) (p < 0.001). Discectomy (n = 50,740, 22.6%), had the shortest LOS (3.7 days), lowest complication and mortality rates (n = 6823, 13.4% and n = 102, 0.2%, respectively), fewest non-routine discharges (n = 22,861, 45.1%), and lowest mean for average total charges ($22,787) (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Decompression was most common. Fusion had the longest LOS, highest complication and mortality rates, most non-routine discharges, and was most expensive. Discectomy was least commonly performed, had the shortest LOS, lowest complication and mortality rates, fewest non-routine discharges, and was least expensive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged 80 and over
  • Decompression
  • Discectomy
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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