Average at-home recovery for AIS spinal fusion estimated at 42 days


New research presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has estimated that the median number of at-home recovery days following spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is 42.

The study estimates the median number of at-home recovery days following 10 common paediatric orthopaedic surgeries.

 In the study—the first of its kind to pinpoint at-home days of recovery based on individual surgeries varying in complexity and post-operative pain levels—researchers tracked 215 patients treated at Children’s Orthopaedics of Atlanta and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, both in Atlanta, USA. The patients, aged five to 19 (mean age 13), were enrolled in elementary, middle or high school between September 2014 and December 2015.

 Based on the results, the study authors estimated median number of at-home days for recovery.

“Parents are naturally concerned about a child’s pending surgery, and not knowing how many days the child will be home—in need of their parents for medications, wound care, and general parental care—can add to family stress,” says lead study author Clifton Willimon, a paediatric sports medicine physician and orthopaedic surgeon at Children’s Orthopaedics of Atlanta, and medical director of Orthopaedics Quality and Outcomes at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“These estimates of time away from school will really assist parents in planning for time away from work and ensuring optimal recovery,” says Willimon. These findings also may be helpful in developing return-to-school guidelines, similar to those that exist for return-to-play after sports injuries.”