Perioperative Nutritional Optimization in Spine Surgery

Clin Spine Surg. 2018 Apr;31(3):103-107. doi: 10.1097/BSD.0000000000000579.


Nutritional optimization in patients undergoing spine surgery is important as improved surgical outcomes and decreased rates of complications have been noted in optimized patients. With the increasingly high numbers of elderly patient and patients with metabolic comorbidities undergoing spine procedures, perioperative nutritional status should be enhanced for the best possible surgical outcomes. Methods of optimization include preoperative screening with Nutritional Risk Score or other scoring systems, looking for changes in body mass index, detecting sarcopenia, and screening for metabolic abnormalities. Assessment of blood glucose, electrolytes, cholesterol, vitamin levels, visceral proteins, and lean body mass must be done preoperatively and close monitoring should be continued postoperatively. Albumin helps to determine the health status of patients before surgery and prealbumin as a predictor of surgical outcomes is being investigated. Malnourished patients should be given balanced diets replenishing key nutrient deficits, glucose should be maintained with sliding scale insulin or continuous infusions and immunonutrition may be implemented. Postoperatively, patients should initiate a diet as soon as possible to decrease overall length of stay and complication rates, facilitating return to normal activities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Perioperative Care*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Spine / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome