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Study: Obese Patients Have Worse Outcomes After Spine Surgery

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Tags: back pain | lumbar disc herniation | obese | patients | spinal surgery | spine surgeon

A recent study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery shows that obese patients have poorer outcomes after both surgical and non-surgical treatment for lumbar disc herniation.

The study examined 854 nonobese patients and 336 obese patients enrolled in the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial for lumbar disc herniation. After a four-year follow up period, 77.5 percent of the obese patients and 86.9 percent of the nonobese patients who receive surgery were working full time or part time.

Obese patients in both groups also reported less functional improvements were than nonobese patients.

According to an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons news release on the study, obese patients didn’t have an increased rate of infection, intraoperative complication or re-operation. The benefits for nonoperative treatment were not impacted by the patient’s body mass index.

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