Joshua W. Hayes, Iain Feeley, Martin Davey, Kyle Borain, Connor Green

March 2021, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 740 - 748 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06717-3

First Online: 13 January 2021


Corrective surgery for scoliosis is a complex and challenging prospect for experienced spine surgeons due to the prolonged duration of surgery and the significant level of technical skill and expertise required. Traditionally, shorter operative time and lower blood loss have correlated well with improved outcomes and as such, efforts have been made to affect these metrics including the use of two attending surgeons for major cases in preference to one. This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the available literature to further clarify the potential benefit that adopting a dual-surgeon approach offers over single-surgeon operations.


A systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the effect of dual-surgeon operating compared to single-surgeon with respect to a number of indicators including blood loss, operative duration and length of hospital stay. In addition, we evaluated whether blood transfusion or complication rates differed between the two groups.


Seven studies met our inclusion criteria. Mean difference indicated shorter duration of surgery (− 90.5 min, 95% CI [− 103.3, − 77.6]) and a lower blood loss (− 379.1, 95% CI [− 572.2, − 230.9]) in the dual-surgeon group compared to the single-surgeon group. Six studies reported mean length of stay and also favoured the dual-surgeon group.


This review observed that there are no randomised control trials evaluating dual-surgeon versus single-surgeon operating for scoliosis. We provide aggregated data and analysis of available literature, suggesting that outcomes in complex scoliosis surgery may be improved by adopting a dual-surgeon approach.

Level of evidence


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