4 things to know about lumbar spinal decompress in older patients


A new study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine examines lumbar spinal decompression among patients who are 65 years or older.

The study authors examined the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program for data on patients who underwent surgery from 2011 to 2013. There were 8,744 patients included in the study. Here are the findings:


1. As patients became older, they were more likely to undergo surgery at three or more levels and experience readmission within 30 days of surgery.


2. The likelihood of being discharged somewhere besides home increased with age, as did the length of stay.


3. The older patients were more likely to require blood transfusions and were at a higher risk for complications. The increased age was also associated with minor complications.


4. The patients 80 years old and older were more likely to experience extensive operations with longer hospital stays and more minor complications, the study authors concluded.


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