Background: This study aims to assess 30-day complication and unplanned readmission rates associated with resection of metastatic spinal tumors.
Methods: Medical records were reviewed for 135 adults who underwent elective resection of a spinal cord tumor. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and tumor characteristics were collected. Tumor pathology was analyzed and diagnosed by a pathologist. The primary outcomes were intra- and 30-day post-operative complication and readmission rates.
Results: Of the 135 spinal tumor resections, 30 (22.2%) cases were metastatic. The most common tumor pathology was bone (13.3%) and the most common locations were thoracic (45.2%), and cervical (32.7%). Most patients had an open surgery (96.7%), with a mean laminectomy/laminoplasty level of 1.9±1.5 and mean operative time of 328.4±658.0 min. There was a 3.3% incidence rate of intraoperative durotomies, with no spinal cord or nerve root injuries. Post-operatively, 44.8% of patients were transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). The most common post-operative complications were weakness (20.0%), new sensory deficits (16.7%), and hypotension (13.3%). The mean length of stay was 8.8±7.6 days, with the majority of patients discharged home (96.7%). The 30-day readmission rate was 9.7%, with the most common 30-day complications being uncontrolled pain (16.7%), sensory-motor deficits (13.3%), and fever (10.0%).
Conclusions: Our study suggests that weakness, sensory deficits, and uncontrolled pain are the most common complications after resection of spinal metastases, with a relatively high associated 30-day readmission rate. Further studies are necessary to corroborate our findings and identify strategies to reduce complication and readmission rates after resection of spinal metastases.