Bone quality associated with early complications post-spinal fusion, study finds

Alan Condon -   Print  | Email

Patients with poor bone quality may be at particular risk of early complications after spinal fusion, according to an article to be published in the February edition of Bone.

Six study details:

1. Leaders of a prospective study examined preoperative bone quality using peripheral quantitative computed tomography, rather than the traditional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, which provides a more limited picture of bone density, according to researchers.

2. Fifty-four patients were enrolled and followed for six months after multilevel lumbar fusion. 

3. Skeletal complications occurred in 14 patients. Those with complications were of similar age and body mass index to those with no complications.

4. High resolution pQCT determined that patients with complications had lower trabecular volumetric bone mineral density, fewer and thinner trabeculae at both the radius and tibia, and thinner tibial cortices. 

5. Abnormalities of the trabecular and cortical microarchitecture were linked to the development of complications within the first six months after surgery.

6. Researchers called for further studies to examine ways to improve bone quality and lower the risk of postoperative complications.

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