, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 1219-1224
Date: 27 Mar 2007

Prevalence of osteoporosis in patients requiring spine surgery: incidence and significance of osteoporosis in spine disease

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Abstract

Summary

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence of osteoporosis in patients requiring spine surgery. Among patients older than 50 years, the rate of osteoporosis in males was 14.5% and the rate osteoporosis in females was 51.3%. We strongly recommend an evaluation and treatment for osteoporosis in the patients requiring spine surgery, especially in females over 50 years old.

Introduction

Because lifespan is increasing, there is an increase in the incidence of osteoporosis in elderly spine surgery patients. The osteoporosis may adversely influence the fusion rate and the surgical outcome. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence of osteoporosis in patients requiring spine surgery.

Methods

A total of 1,321 patients underwent spine surgeries at our institute from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005. Among them, there were 562 patients (42.5%) younger than 50 years old, and 759 patients (57.6%) older than 50 years old. Prior to operation, we evaluated the patients for osteoporosis on both the femur head and lumbar spine by measuring the bone mineral density (BMD) by the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for osteoporosis, we chose the T-score to determine normal (>−1), osteopenia (−1≥, >−2.5), and osteoporosis (≤−2.5). Among the 562 patients younger than 50 years, DXA was performed in 22 (3.9%) patients and there were 13 (2.3%) cases of osteopenia and 2 (0.3%) cases of osteoporosis.

Results

Among 759 patients older than 50 years, DXA was performed on 516 (68.0%) patients, 193 males and 323 females. Among the male patients, there were 89 (46.1%) patients with osteopenia and 28 (14.5%) with osteoporosis. Among the female patients, there were 134 (41.4%) with osteopenia and 166 (51.3%) with osteoporosis. The incidence of osteoporosis was higher in female patients and significantly increased with increasing age. Among 759 patients older than 50 years, 676 patients underwent a major spine operation with or without fusion. Among these patients, DXA was performed in 446 (66.0%) patients and there were 207 (46.4%) patients with osteopenia and 139 (31.1%) with osteoporosis.

Conclusions

The patients over 50 year-old who need spine operation have osteoporosis often. In conclusion, the number of spine operations in elderly patients is increasing and the incidence of osteoporosis in spine surgery patients is also increasing. We strongly recommend an evaluation for osteoporosis and post-operative treatment for osteoporosis in patients over 50 years old, especially for female patients.