Multidisciplinary approaches to complication reduction in complex spine surgery: a systematic review

Gabriel N. Friedman, Joshua A. Benton, Murray Echt, Rafael De la Garza Ramos, John H. Shin, Jean Valery C.E. Coumans, Andrew I. Gitkind, Reza Yassari, Jean Christophe Leveque, Rajiv K. Sethi, Vijay Yanamadala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Complex spine surgery carries a high complication rate that can produce suboptimal outcomes for patients undergoing these extensive operations. However, multidisciplinary pathways introduced at multiple institutions have demonstrated a promising potential toward reducing the burden of complications in patients being treated for spinal deformities. To date, there has been no effort to systematically collate the multidisciplinary approaches in use at various institutions. PURPOSE: The present study aims to determine effective multidisciplinary strategies for reducing the complication rate in complex spine surgery by analyzing existing institutional multidisciplinary approaches and delineating common themes across multiple practice settings. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: We followed guidelines established under the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). The studies reported on data from PubMed, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science and Cochrane. We included articles that described either approaches to, or results from, the implementation of multidisciplinary paradigms during the preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative phases of care for patients undergoing complex spine surgery. We excluded studies that only targeted one complication unless such an approach was in coordination with more extensive multidisciplinary planning at the same institution. RESULTS: A total of 406 unique articles were identified. Following an initial determination based on title and abstract, 22 articles met criteria for full-text review, and 10 met the inclusion criteria to be included in the review. Key aspects of multidisciplinary approaches to complex spine surgery included extensive preoperative workup and interdisciplinary conferencing, intraoperative communication and monitoring, and postoperative floor management and discharge planning. These strategies produced decreases in surgical duration and complication rates. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the first to systematically analyze multidisciplinary approaches to reduce complications in complex spine surgery. This review provides a roadmap toward reducing the elevated complication rate for patients undergoing complex spine surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1260
Number of pages13
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Complex spine
  • Complications
  • Multidisciplinary approaches
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Spine protocol
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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