021. Use of a Standardized Perioperative Care Path for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Leads to Decreased Complications and Readmissions

Authors: Swetha Sundar, MD

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the most common pediatric spinal deformity and thousands of posterior fusions are performed annually. Surgery presents several postoperative challenges, such as pain control, delayed mobilization, and opioid-related morbidity. Optimizing perioperative care of AIS is a high priority to reduce morbidity and improving health care efficiency. The aim of this study was to evaluate a standardized Care Path to determine its effects on perioperative outcomes in patients undergoing spinal fusion for AIS.Methods: This is a retrospective review of patients ages 10-18 who underwent posterior fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) at a single institution from 2014 to 2019. A total of 336 patients ages 10-18 were included; 117 in the pre-Care Path cohort (2014-2015) and 219 in the post-Care Path cohort (2016-2019). Data compared included intraoperative details, length of stay, timing of mobilization, inpatient complications, emergency room (ER) visits, readmissions after discharge, postoperative complications, and reoperations.
The post-Care Path cohort had improved mobilization on postoperative day 0 (pre 16.7%, post 53.3%, P < 0.00001), reduced length of stay (pre 4.14 days, post 3.36 days, P=0.00006), fewer total inpatient complications (pre 17.1%, post 8.1%, P=0.0469), and fewer instances of postoperative ileus (pre 8.5%, post 1.9%, P=0.0102). Within 60 days of surgery, the post-Care Path cohort had fewer ER visits (pre 12.8%, post 7.2%, P=0.0413), decreased postoperative infections (pre 5.1%, post 0.48%, P=0.00547), decreased readmissions (pre 6.0%, post 0.48%, P=0.0021), and decreased reoperations (pre 5.1%, post 0.96%, P=0.0195). There was a decrease in inpatient oral morphine equivalents in the Care Path cohort (pre 118.7, post 84.7, P=0.0003).
Our Care Path for AIS patients demonstrated significant improvements in postoperative mobilization and decreases in length of stay, complications, infections, ER visits, readmissions, and reoperations.