Neurologic Complications Resolve in the Majority of Adult Spinal Deformity Surgeries

San Diego, CA—March 14, 2017

Patients who undergo spinal surgery will occasionally develop neurologic complications following the procedure – namely problems with motor function and sensation. However, encouraging new data suggest that in the majority of patients, these complications resolve and don’t impair quality of life.  

The new research – conducted by members of the International Spine Study Group from multiple academic centers, and presented today at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting reported the rates of recovery and time to recovery for neurologic complications resulting from spinal deformity surgery in the largest population of Adult Deformity patients reported on in the literature. By following 73 patients with neurologic deficits in a study of over 560 patients, the authors found that 51 percent of cases were neurologically recovered by an average of 7 months after their surgery; another 36 percent experienced partial recovery.

"Our findings suggest that although neurologic complications will occur in 17-22 percent of cases in adult spinal deformity surgery, 87 percent of these cases will experience complete or partial resolution," comments Han Jo Kim, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery. "These findings suggest that permanent neurologic deficits will occur with an incidence between 2-3 percent. This can be valuable information for patient counseling and education but it also leads the way to future studies for discovering methods for preventing these complications."

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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