Factors Predictive of Adjacent Segment Disease After Lumbar Spinal Fusion

World Neurosurg. 2020 Jan;133:e690-e694. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.09.112. Epub 2019 Sep 27.


Objective: Adjacent segment disease (ASD) is a long-term complication of lumbar spinal fusion. This study aims to evaluate demographic and operative factors that influence development of ASD after fusion for lumbar degenerative pathologies.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed on patients undergoing instrumented lumbar fusion for degenerative disorders (spondylolisthesis, stenosis, or intervertebral disk degeneration) with a minimum follow-up of 6 months.

Results: Our inclusion criteria were met by 568 patients; 29.4% of patients had developed surgical ASD. Median follow-up was 2.8 years. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that decompression of segments outside the fusion construct had higher ASD (odds ratio = 2.6; P < 0.001), and those undergoing fusion for spondylolisthesis had lower ASD (odds ratio = 0.47; P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Results of our study show that the most important surgical factor contributing to ASD is decompression beyond fused levels. Hence caution should be exercised when decompressing spinal segments outside the fusion construct. Conversely, spondylolisthesis patients had the lowest ASD rates in our cohort.

Keywords: Adjacent segment disease; Fusion; Lumbar; Prognostic factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Decompression, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Fusion / adverse effects*