Trends in spinal deformity surgery in Marfan syndrome

Etka Kurucan, David N. Bernstein, Meiling Ying, Yue Li, Emmanuel N. Menga, Paul D. Sponseller, Addisu Mesfin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


STUDY DESIGN: Analysis of a national database. OBJECTIVE: To analyze trends in fusion surgery for spinal deformity in Marfan syndrome (MFS) patients, compare patients with and without Marfan, and evaluate differences in surgical approaches. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: National trends of fusion surgery for spinal deformities in MFS patients are not known. Given the rarity of MFS and the nuanced differences in the spinal deformity it causes, it is important to explore differences in fusion surgery between spinal deformity patients with and without MFS. METHODS: We identified 314 patients (1,410 weighted) with a diagnosis of MFS and spinal deformity who underwent spinal fusion between the years 2003 and 2014. Our primary outcome was national trends in the use of posterior (PSF), anterior-posterior (APSF), and anterior (ASF) spinal fusions. We also compared perioperative complications, mortality rate, length of stay, and hospital charges in a propensity score matched sample of spinal fusion patients with and without a diagnosis of MFS. RESULTS: The proportion of PSF surgeries increased significantly (p<.01) from 66.7% in 2003 to 92.0% in 2014. MFS patients were more likely to have higher neurologic (2.4% vs. 0.79%, p=.01) complications. There was a significant association between age and approach (p<.01). PSF had a mean age of 20.2, whereas APSF and ASF had mean ages of 27.1 and 35.2, respectively. Approximately 62% of cervical fusions used ASF. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides findings from the largest sample analyzed to date and is the only thus far that investigates national trends. Our results are largely consistent with those of other works in that MFS patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery have higher neurologic complications. We also report that surgical treatment has shifted toward a posterior approach. Our findings can give surgeons a better understanding of the postoperative complications and changing national trends in spinal fusion surgery for patients with MFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1934-1940
Number of pages7
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Cervical spine
  • Costs
  • Kyphosis
  • Marfan syndrome
  • National database
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal deformity
  • Spinal fusion
  • Surgical approach
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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