Surgery can be viable for elderly patients with acute spinal conditions

6 February 2015

A new report has found that patients over the age of 80 can benefit from surgery to treat acute spinal conditions.

Published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS), the research found significant benefit from surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis did not carry any higher overall complication rates. In addition, mortality was not any higher for patients over the age of 80, compared to younger patients.

Researchers used data from the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT), which included 105 patients over the age of 80 and 1,130 patients who were younger. All participants had lumbar stenosis alone or combined with degenerative spondylolisthesis. 

More than half (55.2 per cent) of the patients who were at least 80 years old underwent surgery to remove bone spurs, bone and ligaments that may be pressing on the spinal nerves, along with 66.3 per cent of the younger group.

The team found that both groups had comparable rates of complications during and after surgery, reoperations and postoperative mortality.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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