European Spine Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 411–417 | Cite as

Predictors of surgical, general and follow-up complications in lumbar spinal stenosis relative to patient age as emerged from the Spine Tango Registry

  • Rolf Sobottke
  • Emin Aghayev
  • Christoph Röder
  • Peer Eysel
  • Stephan K. Delank
  • Thomas Zweig
Original Article



Published opinions regarding the outcomes and complications in older patients have a broad spectrum and there is a disagreement whether surgery in older patients entails a higher risk. Therefore this study examines the risk of surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis relative to age in the pooled data set of the Spine Tango registry.

Materials and methods

Between May 2005 and February 2010 the database query resulted in 1,764 patients. The patients were subdivided into three socio-economically relevant age groups: <65 years, 65–74 years, ≥75 years. Frequencies for occurred surgical, general and follow-up complications were assessed. Multivariate and univariate logistic regressions were performed to reveal predictors for respective complication types.

Results and discussion

Our study found that age, ASA status and blood loss were significant co-varieties for the occurrence of general complications. The risk of general complications is increased in older versus younger patients. Fusion or rigid stabilization does not lead to more complications. Surgical complications as well as complication rates at follow-up showed no significant age-related variation. Physician-based outcome was good or excellent in over 80% of patients in all age groups.


Spine Tango Surgical, follow-up and general complications Spinal stenosis Elder patients Registry 



We would like to thank the Spine Tango registry group who made this research possible by populating the database with their valuable and much appreciated entries.

Conflict of interest

The authors attest that they have no conflict of interests in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Sobottke
    • 1
  • Emin Aghayev
    • 2
  • Christoph Röder
    • 2
  • Peer Eysel
    • 1
  • Stephan K. Delank
    • 1
  • Thomas Zweig
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Evaluative Research in MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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