Pascal Zehnder, Ulrike Held, Tim Pigott, Andrea Luca, Markus Loibl, Raluca Reitmeir, Tamás Fekete, Daniel Haschtmann, Anne F. Mannion

May 2021, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1337 - 1354 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06777-5

First Online: 09 March 2021


Predictive models in spine surgery are of use in shared decision-making. This study sought to develop multivariable models to predict the probability of general and surgical perioperative complications of spinal surgery for lumbar degenerative diseases.


Data came from EUROSPINE's Spine Tango Registry (1.2012–12.2017). Separate prediction models were built for surgical and general complications. Potential predictors included age, gender, previous spine surgery, additional pathology, BMI, smoking status, morbidity, prophylaxis, technology used, and the modified Mirza invasiveness index score. Complete case multiple logistic regression was used. Discrimination was assessed using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Plots were used to assess the calibration of the models.


Overall, 23′714/68′111 patients (54.6%) were available for complete case analysis: 763 (3.2%) had a general complication, with ASA score being strongly predictive (ASA-2 OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.20–2.12; ASA-3 OR 2.98, 95% CI 2.19–4.07; ASA-4 OR 5.62, 95% CI 3.04–10.41), while 2534 (10.7%) had a surgical complication, with previous surgery at the same level being an important predictor (OR 1.9, 95%CI 1.71–2.12). Respectively, model AUCs were 0.74 (95% CI, 0.72–0.76) and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.62–0.65), and calibration was good up to predicted probabilities of 0.30 and 0.25, respectively.


We developed two models to predict complications associated with spinal surgery. Surgical complications were predicted with less discriminative ability than general complications. Reoperation at the same level was strongly predictive of surgical complications and a higher ASA score, of general complications. A web-based prediction tool was developed at

Read Full Article