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Instrumented lumbar fusion in patients over 75 years of age: is it worthwhile?-a comparative study of the improvement in quality of life between elderly and young patients – Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

The article examines the surgical treatment of degenerative lumbar disease in elderly patients and compares the clinical outcomes between older and younger patients undergoing lumbar instrumented arthrodesis. The study finds that elderly patients have an increased risk of medical and surgical complications due to their comorbidities, leading to cases of insufficient decompression to avoid the need for instrumentation. However, the results show that posterior lumbar fusion with polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) pedicle-screw augmentation is a safe and effective surgical option for elderly patients with poor bone quality. The study concludes that age itself should not be considered a contraindication for spine surgery in appropriately selected patients

Summarised by Mr Mo Akmal – Lead Spinal Surgeon
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Published article

CONCLUSIONS: Osteoporosis represents a major consideration before performing spine surgery. Despite an obvious increased risk of complications in elderly patients, PMMA-augmented fenestrated pedicle screw instrumentation in spine fusion represents a safe and effective surgical treatment option to elderly patients with poor bone quality. Age itself should not be considered a contraindication in otherwise appropriately selected patients.

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J Spine Surg. 2023 Sep 22;9(3):247-258. doi: 10.21037/jss-22-115.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND: Surgical treatment of degenerative lumbar disease in the elderly is controversial. Elderly patients have an increased risk for medical and surgical complications commensurate with their comorbidities, and concerns over complications have led to frequent cases of insufficient decompression to avoid the need for instrumentation. The purpose of,

J Spine Surg. 2023 Sep 22;9(3):247-258. doi: 10.21037/jss-22-115.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surgical treatment of degenerative lumbar disease in the elderly is controversial. Elderly patients have an increased risk for medical and surgical complications commensurate with their comorbidities, and concerns over complications have led to frequent cases of insufficient decompression to avoid the need for instrumentation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical outcome between older and younger patients undergoing lumbar instrumented arthrodesis.

METHODS: This is a retrospective, comparative study of prospectively collected outcomes. One hundred and fifty-four patients underwent 1- or 2-level posterolateral lumbar fusion. Patients were divided into two groups. Group 1: 87 patients ≤65 years of age who underwent decompression and posterolateral instrumented fusion; Group 2: 67 patients ≥75 years of age who underwent the same procedures with polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) pedicle-screw augmentation. Mean follow-up 27.47 months (range, 76-24 months).

RESULTS: Mean age was 49.1 years old (range, 24-65) for the younger group and 77.8 (range, 75-86) in the elderly group. Patients ≥75 years of age showed higher preoperative comorbidity (American Society of Anesthesiology, ASA: 1.7 vs. 2.4), and ≥2 systemic diseases with greater frequency (12.5% vs. 44.7%). No significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of postoperative complications, fusion, or revision rate. During follow-up, adjacent disc disease and adjacent fracture occurred significantly more in Group 2 (P<0.05). At the end of follow-up, there were no significant differences between the two groups in any of the clinical and health-related quality of life scores or satisfaction with treatment received.

CONCLUSIONS: Osteoporosis represents a major consideration before performing spine surgery. Despite an obvious increased risk of complications in elderly patients, PMMA-augmented fenestrated pedicle screw instrumentation in spine fusion represents a safe and effective surgical treatment option to elderly patients with poor bone quality. Age itself should not be considered a contraindication in otherwise appropriately selected patients.

PMID:37841795 | PMC:PMC10570654 | DOI:10.21037/jss-22-115

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Instrumented lumbar fusion in patients over 75 years of age: is it worthwhile?-a comparative study of the improvement in quality of life between elderly and young patients

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J Spine Surg. 2023 Sep 22;9(3):247-258. doi: 10.21037/jss-22-115.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND: Surgical treatment of degenerative lumbar disease in the elderly is controversial. Elderly patients have an increased risk for medical and surgical complications commensurate with their comorbidities, and concerns over complications have led to frequent cases of insufficient decompression to avoid the need for instrumentation. The purpose of

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