Explanation of Outcomes Terms

  • Readmitted to the Hospital within 30 Days

    Occasionally, people will experience complications in the month after surgery and must be readmitted to the hospital. There may be a variety of reasons for this and each case varies. The number we present shows the total percent of people admitted to the hospital following spine surgery. See our score.

    Inpatient Infection Rate

    Infection occurs when bacteria gets into the body. At Memorial Health University Medical Center, we follow proven standards of care to minimize the risk of infection before, during, and after surgery. This includes administering antibiotics before and after surgery, using the highest levels of quality control and cleanliness, and monitoring a patient’s blood sugar after surgery. See our score.

    Inpatient Deaths

    On very rare occasions, a person can die during or after surgery. This is an uncommon but very real risk associated with any type of surgery, even very minor procedures. See our score.

    Paralysis or Nerve Injury

    There are risks associated with any type of surgery, even very minor procedures. Although most people experience a good outcome, there is a risk of permanent paralysis or nerve damage after spine surgery. To help minimize these risks, it is important to seek out a highly trained surgeon who is experienced in performing delicate spine surgeries. See our score.

    CSF Leak

    A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak occurs when fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord leaks into the body because the membrane surrounding the fluid is torn or damaged. The primary symptom is a headache that gets worse when sitting up. The headache often goes away on its own, but may require complete bed rest and medication to manage the pain. See our score.

    Blood Clots

    Blood clots can be a side effect of surgery. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms inside a deep vein, often in the lower leg. If it is not diagnosed and treated, it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is a very serious condition that can result in death if it is not diagnosed and treated. To help prevent blood clots, patients are encouraged to get up and walk around after surgery. They are also given special stockings to wear to help prevent DVT. See our score.

    After leaving the hospital, patients can help prevent blood clots by getting regular activity every day, avoiding smoking, and staying hydrated. Some patients may also wear compression stockings or take anticoagulant medications. See our score.

    Additional Surgery within Two Years

    Occasionally, people must be readmitted to the hospital for another surgery or to treat complications within two years of their primary spine surgery. The number we present shows the total percent of people readmitted to the hospital within two years of surgery. See our score.