Instrumented fusion surgery in elderly patients (over 75 years old): clinical and radiological results in a series of 53 patients

Eur Spine J. 2013 Nov;22 Suppl 6(Suppl 6):S910-3. doi: 10.1007/s00586-013-3021-0. Epub 2013 Sep 20.


Objective: To evaluate the clinical and radiological outcomes of elderly (>75 years old) patients who underwent spinal instrumented fusion surgery.

Methods: Patients underwent lumbar pedicle screw fixation and fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis. Clinical and radiological outcomes were assessed.

Results: 53 patients were studied. Pre-operative VAS was 7.8, ODI was 47.6 %. 254 screws were placed (36 single level; 13 double levels and 4 cases three-levels). No mortality occurred. At 18 months follow-up VAS was 4.1, ODI was 21.8 %. A stable fusion was observed in 41 patients (78.8 %); in four cases there was minimal sign of instability and seven patients underwent a second surgery due to screw mobilization.

Conclusion: Spinal fixation and fusion in patients older than 75 years old grants good results in terms of quality of life but the rate of morbidity is higher than standard spine surgery. Rate of fusion especially is still a critical point.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pedicle Screws
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Spinal Fusion / adverse effects
  • Spinal Fusion / instrumentation*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spondylolisthesis / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome