Spinal disability: 5 findings on associated physical & psychological issues

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A study published in Spine examines the physical and psychological comorbidity associated with spine-related disability.

The researchers examined 175 patients with cervical spine problems and 538 patients with lumbar spine problems several days before surgery. They completed examinations such as the Neck Disability Index and Oswestry Disability Index as well as tracked for major physical comorbidities and depressive symptoms.


The average patient with cervical problems was 54 years old; the average patient with lumbar problems was 56 years old. Among the population with cervical issues, 60 percent of the patients were males; among the lumbar issues group, 55 percent were males. Here are five findings from the study:


1. The average NDI score for patients with cervical issues was 44 percent and 25 percent of the patients had major physical comorbidities.


2. Having depressive symptoms and major physical comorbidity was associated with worse NDI scores when controlling for the younger age and female sex.


3. The average ODI score for the lumbar issues group was 56 percent and 30 percent had major physical comorbidities.


4. Worse ODI scores were associated with major physical comorbidity and more depressive symptoms after controlling for the younger age and female sex.


5. The authors concluded physiological comorbidity and non-orthopedic physical comorbidity measured by the standard index are associated with patient-reported spine-related disability. "Given that disability is a major indicator for surgery, how psychological and physical comorbidity influence patients' assessment of spine-related disability merits further investigation."


More articles on spine surgery:
10 key facts about spinal stenosis treatment from Dartmouth Atlas
Vertebral augmentation: What is the complication rate? Which factors make a difference?
The 2014 pro athlete spine injury lineup: 6 spine surgeons who performed the surgeries

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