OBJECTIVE: To assess the learning curve of a dual attending surgeon strategy in severe adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The advantages of a dual attending surgeon strategy in improving the perioperative outcome in scoliosis surgery had been reported. However, the learning curve of this strategy in severe scoliosis had not been widely studied.
METHODS: A total of 105 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with Cobb angle of 90° or greater, who underwent posterior spinal fusion using a dual attending surgeon strategy were recruited. Primary outcomes were operative time, total blood loss, allogeneic blood transfusion requirement, length of hospital stay from time of operation and perioperative complications. Cases were sorted chronologically into group 1: cases 1 to 35, group 2: cases 36 to 70, and group 3: case 71 to 105. Mean operative time (≤193.3 min), total blood loss (≤1612.2 mL), combination of both and allogeneic blood transfusion were the selected criteria for receiver operating characteristic analysis of the learning curve.
RESULTS: The mean Cobb angle was 104.5° ± 12.3°. The operative time, total blood loss, and allogeneic blood transfusion requirement reduced significantly for group 1 (220.6 ± 54.8 min; 2011.3 ± 881.8 mL; 12 cases) versus group 2 (183.6 ± 36.7 min; 1481.6 ± 1035.5 mL; 3 cases) and group 1 versus group 3 (175.6 ± 38.4 min; 1343.7 ± 477.8 mL; 3 cases) (P blood loss) (area under the curve 0.740; P blood loss when comparing group 1 versus group 2 and group 1 versus group 3. The cut-off point for the learning curve was 57 cases when the preset criteria were fulfilled (≤193.3 min operative time and ≤1612.2 mL of total blood loss).Level of Evidence: 4.