Prevalence of Osteoporosis Treatment and Its Effect on Post-Operative Complications, Revision Surgery and Costs After Multi-Level Spinal Fusion

Nikhil Jain, Lawal Labaran, Frank M. Phillips, Safdar N. Khan, Amit Jain, Khaled M. Kebaish, Hamid Hassanzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Objective: To study the prevalence of pre-operative osteoporosis treatment, and its effect on risk of ORC, revision surgery and costs in osteoporotic patients undergoing ≥3-level spinal fusion for degenerative pathology. Methods: Patients and procedures of interest were included using International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding. Our outcome measures were ORC at 1-year post-operatively and included instrumentation complications, pathological fracture, and revision surgery. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards analysis was done to study the effect of osteoporosis treatment on risk of ORC. Results: We included a total of 849 patients with documented osteoporosis undergoing ≥3-level spinal fusion. White (85.6%), female (82.7%), and 60-79 years of age (79.9%) was the most common demographic. Of entire cohort, 121(14.3%) were on osteoporosis treatment prior to spinal fusion. Of treated patients, 52/121 (43.0%) had continued prescriptions at 1 year post-operatively. Treated patients and not-treated patients had 1-year ORC incidence of 9.1% and 15.0%, respectively. The average 1-year reimbursement/patient for managing ORC was $3,053 (treated) and $21,147 (not-treated). On adjusted cox analysis, pre-operative osteoporosis treatment was associated with a lower risk of ORC (HR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.28-0.99, p = 0.04). Conclusions: Pre-operative osteoporosis treatment is associated with lower risk of ORC and revision surgery at 1-year after ≥3-level spinal fusion. There is a low incidence of osteoporosis treatment prior to spinal fusion, and subsequently a low rate of treatment continuation after surgery. These findings highlight the need for heightened awareness, patient education and management of osteoporosis before elective multi-level spinal fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1124
Number of pages6
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • bisphosphonate
  • bone density
  • cervical
  • complications
  • fusion
  • lumbar
  • osteoporosis
  • spinal fusion
  • teriparatide
  • value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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