European Spine Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 235–246 | Cite as

Influence of gender on patient-oriented outcomes in spine surgery

  • L. Pochon
  • F. S. Kleinstück
  • F. Porchet
  • Anne F. Mannion
Original Article



Few studies have examined gender differences in patient-oriented health-related quality of life before and after spine surgery. This study examined the influence of gender on baseline status and 1-year postoperative outcomes in a large series of patients undergoing surgery for different degenerative spinal disorders.


The study included 1518 patients [812 men and 706 women; mean (SD) age 61.4 ± 16.2 years], with three different pathologies (disc herniation, degenerative spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis), treated with specified surgical approaches. Preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively, patients completed the multidimensional Core Outcome Measures Index (COMI). Medical history, surgical details and perioperative complications were documented with the Eurospine “Spine Tango” Surgery 2006 form.


Preoperatively and for all three pathologies, women had significantly (p < 0.05) worse COMI-scores than men, especially for the sub-domains “leg/buttock pain”, “dominant pain intensity”, and “general quality of life”; the change in the COMI sum score 12 months postoperatively showed no significant gender differences for any pathology (p > 0.05). 71.3 % males and 72.9 % females achieved the minimal clinically important change score (MCIC; 2.2 point reduction) for the COMI. Controlling for potential cofounders (preoperative COMI, ASA, complications, pathology), gender showed no significant association with the failure to achieve MCIC.


This results show that women do not differ significantly from men regarding their postoperative outcome, even though they present with a worse preoperative status. The management of a patient’s condition should not differ depending on their gender, since both men and women are able to improve to a similar extent.


COMI Gender MCIC Outcome Spine surgery 



This study was supported by the Schulthess Klinik Research Fund. We are grateful to Malgorzata Roos and Farouhar Mouttet for their assistance in conducting the statistical analyses. We would like to thank Dave O’Riordan, Gordana Balaban, Nora Aziz-Toth, Julian Amacker, Kirsten Clift, Selina Nauer, and Anne Fröhlich for their valuable assistance in collecting the questionnaire data and managing the Spine Tango Surgery data forms.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Pochon
    • 1
  • F. S. Kleinstück
    • 2
  • F. Porchet
    • 2
  • Anne F. Mannion
    • 1
  1. 1.Spine Center Division, Department of Research and DevelopmentSchulthess KlinikZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Spine CenterSchulthess KlinikZürichSwitzerland

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