BACKGROUND: Surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is generally safe and effective. Nonetheless, complications occur in 11% to 38% of patients. Knowledge of important predictors of complications will help clinicians identify high-risk patients and institute prevention and management strategies. OBJECTIVE: To identify clinical and surgical predictors of perioperative complications in CSM patients. METHODS: Four hundred seventy-nine surgical CSM patients were enrolled in the prospective CSM-International study at 16 sites. A panel of physicians reviewed all adverse events and classified each as related or unrelated to surgery. Univariate analyses were performed to determine differences between patients who experienced a perioperative complication and those who did not. A complication prediction rule was developed using multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: Seventy-eight patients experienced 89 perioperative complications (16.25%). On univariate analysis, the major clinical risk factors were ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) (P .055), number of comorbidities (P .002), comorbidity score (P .006), diabetes mellitus (P .001), and coexisting gastrointestinal (P .039) and cardiovascular (P .046) disorders. Patients undergoing a 2-stage surgery (P .002) and those with a longer operative duration (P .001) were at greater risk of perioperative complications. A final prediction model consisted of diabetes mellitus (odds ratio [OR] 1.96, P .060), number of comorbidities (OR 1.20, P .069), operative duration (OR 1.07, P .002), and OPLL (OR 1.75, P .040). CONCLUSION: Surgical CSM patients have a higher risk of perioperative complications if they have a greater number of comorbidities, coexisting diabetes mellitus, OPLL, and a longer operative duration. Surgeons can use this information to discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with patients, to plan case-specific preventive strategies, and to ensure appropriate management in the perioperative period.
- Cervical spondylotic myelopathy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology