Loreto C. Pulido, Matthias Meyer, Jan Reinhard, Tobias Kappenschneider, Joachim Grifka, Markus Weber

April 2022, pp 1 - 9 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07211-0

First Online: 18 April 2022


The Hospital Frailty Risk Score (HFRS) is derived from routinely collected data and validated as a geriatric risk stratification tool. This study aimed to evaluate the utility of the HFRS as a predictor for postoperative adverse events in spine surgery.


In this retrospective analysis of 2042 patients undergoing spine surgery at a university spine center between 2011 and 2019, HFRS was calculated for each patient. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between the HFRS and postoperative adverse events. Adverse events were compared between patients with high or low frailty risk.


Patients with intermediate or high frailty risk showed a higher rate of reoperation (19.7% vs. 12.2%, p < 0.01), surgical site infection (3.4% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.001), internal complications (4.1% vs. 1.1%, p < 0.01), Clavien–Dindo IV complications (8.8% vs. 3.4%, p < 0.001) and transfusion (10.9% vs. 1.5%, p < 0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed a high HFRS as independent risk factor for reoperation [odds ratio (OR) = 1.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0–1.2], transfusion (OR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.2–1.4), internal complications (OR = 1.2; 95% CI 1.1–1.3), surgical site infections (OR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.2–1.5) and other complications (OR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.2–1.4).


The HFRS can predict adverse events and is an easy instrument, fed from routine hospital data. By identifying risk patients at an early stage, the individual patient risk could be minimized, which leads to less complications and lower costs.

Level of evidence

Level III – retrospective cohort study

Trial registration

The study was approved by the local ethics committee (20-1821-104) of the University of Regensburg in February 2020.

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