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Incidence and risk factors for incidental durotomy in spine surgery for lumbar stenosis and herniated disc



Incidental durotomy (ID) is one of the most common complications in degenerative surgery. Due to the negative consequences of ID, knowledge about incidence and risk factors is warranted.


A total of 1,139 surgical procedures for lumbar spinal stenosis (LS) and lumbar herniated disc (LDH) were included from the spine surgery database: DaneSpine. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed for the assessment of possible risk factors.


ID occurred in 10.4% of the surgical procedures. A multivariate regression analysis revealed an increased relative risk of ID by 2% per year of age, 58% by revision surgery, and 55% by decompression on multiple levels.


In our single-centre cohort study, one in ten patients experiences an ID. Increasing age, revision surgery and decompression of multiple levels are risk factors of ID in degenerative surgery of the lumbar spine.

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Correspondence to Teresa Haugaard Nielsen.

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The study protocol was approved according to the local legislation.

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Patients included in DaneSpine consent individually to data storage and usage.

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The authors declare no competing interests. The material has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Spine degenerative

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Nielsen, T.H., Rasmussen, M.M. & Thygesen, M.M. Incidence and risk factors for incidental durotomy in spine surgery for lumbar stenosis and herniated disc. Acta Neurochir 164, 1883–1888 (2022).

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