Yunsheng Wang, Yong Hai, Yuzeng Liu, Li Guan, Tie Liu

June 2019, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1356 - 1362 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-019-05968-5

First Online: 08 April 2019

Risk factors for postoperative pulmonary complications in the treatment of non-degenerative scoliosis by posterior instrumentation and fusion


The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors for postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC) after posterior instrumentation and fusion (PIF) in patients with non-degenerative scoliosis.


We retrospectively evaluated 703 patients (224 males, 479 females) diagnosed with non-degenerative scoliosis who underwent PIF in our center from January 2010 to January 2018. Preoperative, perioperative, demographic data, surgical methods and radiographic parameters were extracted and analyzed to identify risk factors for PPC.


The mean age of the patients was 20.8 ± 9.0 years with the following diagnoses: congenital scoliosis (287/703, 40.8%), idiopathic scoliosis (281/703, 40.0%), neuromuscular scoliosis (103/703, 14.7%) and syndromic scoliosis (32/703, 4.5%). PPC manifested in 82 patients (11.7%) including pleural effusion (39/82, 47.6%), pneumonia (33/82, 40.2%), pneumothorax (3/82, 3.7%), respiratory failure (3/82, 3.7%), hemothorax (2/82, 2.4%), pulmonary edema (1/82, 1.2%) and pulmonary embolism (1/82, 1.2%). Multifactorial regression analysis confirmed that revision surgery [odds ratio (OR) = 2.320, P = 0.030], preoperative respiratory disease (OR = 14.286, P < 0.001), preoperative Cobb angle of main curve > 75° (OR = 1.701, P = 0.046) and thoracoplasty (OR = 4.098 P < 0.001) were risk factors for PPC after PIF in patients with non-degenerative scoliosis.


A prevalence of 11.7% PPC was observed after PIF. Risk factors were preoperative Cobb angle of main curve > 75°, preoperative respiratory disease, revision surgery and thoracoplasty. Surgeons should recognize and pay attention to these risk factors and take appropriate preventive measures to prevent severe pulmonary complications.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Read Full Article