Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been shown to reduce opioid consumption, reduce pain, improve quality of life compared to conventional therapy, and be more effective than spine reoperation in carefully selected patients. In this study, we evaluate readmissions after SCS implantation procedures, costs, predictors, and etiologies for readmission following implantation procedures.
The study was a retrospective cohort using the National Readmissions Database from 2013 to 2017. Administrative billing codes were used to identify patients undergoing SCS implantation procedures. The primary outcome of our study was 30-day readmission following the SCS implantation procedure. Continuous outcomes were compared between groups using the Student t test or Wilcoxon rank sum test. In addition, multivariable predictors of 30-day readmission were assessed by hierarchical logistic regression analysis.
A total of 3737 (26.7% open surgical SCS implants [OS-SCS]) individuals admitted to the hospital for SCS implantation were included in the final cohort analysis. The cohort consisted of predominantly female patients (58.71%) and in the 50- to 64-year age group (35.46%). Patients who underwent open surgical SCS implantation had a longer length of stay during the initial admission and a higher 30-day readmission rate (9.4% vs 7% P = .01). OS-SCS, older age, lower socioeconomic status, patients with specific comorbidities (ie, hypertension or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), and home discharge are associated with readmission.
Readmission rates after SCS implantation are around 7.7% in the United States. Infection and postoperative complications remain the top etiologies for readmission. Open surgical SCS implantation is associated with more extended initial hospitalization and a higher rate of readmission when compared to percutaneous SCS implantation procedures.