Pediatric spondylolysis/spinal stenosis and disc herniation: national trends in decompression and discectomy surgery evaluated through the Kids' Inpatient Database.

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Publication Title

Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery


Adolescent; Child; Child, Preschool; Databases, Factual; Decompression, Surgical; Diskectomy; Female; Humans; Intervertebral Disc Displacement; Length of Stay; Male; Neurosurgical Procedures; Postoperative Complications; Spinal Stenosis; Spondylolysis


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to describe national trends in spinal decompression without fusion and discectomy procedures in the US pediatric inpatient population.

METHODS: The Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) was queried for pediatric patients with primary diagnoses of spinal spondylolysis/stenosis or disc herniation and having undergone spinal decompression without fusion or discectomy over more than a decade (2000 to 2012). The primary (indirect) outcomes of interest were in-hospital complication rates, length of stay (LOS), total costs, and discharge dispositions.

RESULTS: A total of 7315 patients, comprised of pediatric spinal spondylolysis/stenosis (n = 287, 3.92%) and pediatric disc herniation (n = 7028, 96.1%) patients, were included in the study. During the years 2000 to 2012, diagnoses of pediatric spondylolysis/spinal stenosis increased from 61 to 90 diagnoses per 3-year period, while diagnoses of pediatric disc herniation decreased from 2133 to 1335 diagnoses per 3-year period. Spinal decompression was associated with higher in-hospital complication rates (18.1 vs 5.3%, p < 0.0001), longer hospital stays (5 vs 1.69 days, p < 0.0001), higher mean total charges ($49,186 vs $19,057, p < 0.0001), and higher non-routine discharge rates (12.3 vs 2.5%, p < 0.0001) versus discectomy.

CONCLUSIONS: Spinal decompression is associated with longer hospital stays, more complications, higher costs, and more non-routine discharges when compared to discectomy. The data supports the disparate nature of these disease processes and elucidates basic clinical trends in uncommon spinal disorders affecting children.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)