Bariatric Surgery Population at Significantly Increased Risk of Spinal Disorders and Surgical Intervention Compared with Morbidly Obese Patients

Peter G. Passias, Samantha R. Horn, Yael U. Ihejirika, Dennis Vasques-Montes, Frank A. Segreto, Cole A. Bortz, Avery E. Brown, Katherine E. Pierce, Haddy Alas, Gregory W. Poorman, Cyrus M. Jalai, Charles Wang, John A. Buza, Leah Steinmetz, Christopher G. Varlotta, Shaleen Vira, Bassel G. Diebo, Hamid Hassanzadeh, Renaud Lafage, Virginie Lafage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Obesity is associated with acceleration of musculoskeletal degenerative diseases and functional impairment secondary to spinal disorders. Bariatric surgery (BS) is an increasingly common treatment for severe obesity but can affect bone and mineral metabolism. The effect of BS on degenerative spinal disorders is yet to be fully described. The aim of our study was to analyze changes in bariatric patients' risk for spinal degenerative diseases and spinal surgery. Methods: Retrospective analysis of the prospectively collected New York State Inpatient Database (NYSID) years (2004-2013) using patient linkage codes. The incidence of degenerative spinal diagnoses and spinal surgery was queried using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD)-9 codes for morbidly obese patients (ICD-9 278.01) with and without a history of BS. The incidence of degenerative spinal diagnoses and spinal surgery was determined using χ2 tests for independence. Logistic testing controlled for age, sex, and comorbidity burden. Results: A total of 18,176 patients were identified in the NYSID database with a history of BS and 146,252 patients were identified as morbidly obese without a history of BS. BS patients have a significantly higher rate of spinal diagnoses than morbidly obese patients without BS (19.3% vs. 8.1%, P<0.001). Bariatric patients were more likely to have spinal diagnoses and procedures than nonbariatric obese patients (P<0.001). This was mostly observed in lumbar spinal stenosis (5.0%), cervical disk herniation (3.3%), lumbar disk degeneration (3.4%), lumbar spondylolisthesis (2.9%), lumbar spondylosis (1.9%), and cervical spondylosis with myelopathy (2.0%). Spine procedure rates are higher for bariatric patients than nonbariatric overall (25.6% vs. 2.3, P<0.001) and for fusions and decompressions (P<0.001). When controlling for age, sex, and comorbidities (and diagnosis rate with regards to procedure rates), these results persist, with BS patients having a higher likelihood of spinal diagnoses and procedures. In addition, bariatric patients had a lower comorbidity burden than morbidly obese patients without a history of BS. Conclusions: Morbidly obese BS patients have a dramatically higher incidence of spinal diagnoses and procedures, relative to morbidly obese patients without BS. Further study is necessary to determine if there is a pathophysiological mechanism underlying this higher risk of spinal disease and intervention in bariatric patients, and the effect of BS on these rates following treatment. Level of Evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Spine Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bariatric surgery
  • morbid obesity
  • spinal diagnoses rate
  • spine surgery rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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