Does diabetes impact spine surgery reoperation rate? 5 things to know

Written by Laura Dyrda | January 29, 2015 | Print  |

Do patients with diabetes have a higher reoperation rate after lumbar spine surgery?

A study published in The Spine Journal examined how patients with diabetes compare to patients without diabetes. There were 34,918 patients included in the study. Their information was identified in a national health insurance database and patients either underwent second lumbar surgery after fusion surgery or decompression at various points postoperatively.


Here are five findings from the study:


1. There were 24.5 percent of the patients undergoing spinal fusions who had diabetes. Around 17 percent in the decompression group had diabetes.


2. Overall, 13.2 percent of the patients underwent reoperation after fusion surgery. There were 14 percent of the patients who had reoperations at some point after decompression surgery.


3. Diabetes did not make a significant impact on reoperation rate for patients who underwent the fusion procedures during the entire follow-up period — six years.


4. The reoperation rate for patients undergoing decompression surgery was relatively similar during the first three months for patients with and without diabetes. However, between three months and five years postoperatively, the reoperation rate was 1.2 to 1.4 times higher for patients with diabetes.


5. The researchers concluded the study didn't find a relationship between diabetes at the time of surgery and reoperation rate in the early postoperative period. "Thereafter, the reoperation rate was not higher after fusion surgery in diabetic patients, but it was higher after decompression surgery," they concluded.


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