The influence of age on the peri- and postoperative clinical course in patients undergoing minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion techniques of the lumbar spine
Sprache des Titels:
As a result of continuously increasing life expectancy, the number of requests for surgery to treat degenerative diseases of the spine in the elderly population will increase. Since older age is associated with the occurrence of medical comorbidities, the demand for less extensive surgical approaches is growing. The aim of this study is to establish whether minimally invasive fusion techniques are a safe and adequate tool for use in elderly patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
We analyzed 187 patients who underwent minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in the form of one- to four-level fusion procedures. In 146 patients, additional widening of the spinal canal was performed. The subjects were grouped into four age categories of approximately equal size (33-56, 56-66, 66-74 and 74-85). The effect of age on the incidence of peri- and postoperative complications was investigated and compared between the age groups.
Older age was not associated with the occurrence of perioperative complications, which include wound healing disorders, hematomas, wound traction-blisters and cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Fourteen patients (7.49%) encountered distinct surgical technique related complications, making surgical revision necessary in eight patients (4.28%). Furthermore, increasing age didn't elevate the risk of postoperative adverse events, i.e. pulmonary embolism, ischemic heart attack or pneumonia, among others. However, older patients were found to stay in hospital longer than younger patients, especially when more than one level was fused.
Minimally invasive surgery techniques are safe in elderly patients. The small-scale surgical approach guarantees a low incidence of infections and wound healing disorders. However, a longer hospital stay must be expected in older patients.