Spinal surgery safe in patients of advanced age, finds study


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study which investigated the safety of spinal surgery in patients aged 80 years and older has found that while the overall perioperative complication rate may be high, the surgery can be safely performed in this population. 

The multi-centre prospective cohort study included 270 patients who underwent spinal surgery between January and December 2017 across seven centres in Japan. 

The authors set out to determine the perioperative complications of surgery in this group (defined as adverse events that occurred intraoperatively or within 30 days post-operatively) and investigated the risk factors for perioperative systemic complications. 

The authors reported that overall perioperative, surgical site and minor systemic complications were observed in 20.0 per cent, 8.1 per cent and 14.8 per cent of patients, respectively. No patient experienced a major systemic complication. The reoperation rate was 4.1 per cent. 

Decreased activities of daily living as measured by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG-PS) (P=.013), instrumentation surgery (P=.024) and an operation time longer than 180 minutes (P=.016) were associated with minor systemic complications. 

The findings are published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine