Of 20,376 Lumbar Discectomies, 2.6% of Patients Readmitted within 30 Days: Surgical Site Infection, Pain, and Thromboembolic Events are the Most Common Reasons for Readmission.

Spine 2016
Webb ML1, Nelson SJ

As an initial effort to address readmissions after lumbar discectomy, reasons for hospital readmission are identified and discussed.
Lumbar discectomy is a commonly performed procedure. The Affordable Care Act codifies penalties for hospital readmissions.
Of 20,376 lumbar discectomies, 533 patients (2.62%) were readmitted within 30 days of surgery. The most common reasons for readmission were surgical site infections (n = 130, 0.64% of all discectomies, 24.4% of all readmissions), followed by pain issues (n = 89, 0.44%, 16.7%), and thromboembolic events (43, 0.21%, 8.1%). Overall time to readmission was 13.0 days ± 8.0 days.
Surgical site infection, postoperative pain, and thromboembolic events were the most common reasons for readmission after lumbar discectomy. These findings identify potential areas for quality improvement initiatives.

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