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Korean J Spine Search

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Surgical Treatment of Degenerative Lumbar Spine Disease in Geriatric Patients Over 70 Years Old: A Review of Two Decades.
Seung Bok Wee, Sung Sam Jung, Ki Seok Park, Sung Uk Kuh
1Department of Neurosurgery, Eulji University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea. twoboss21@naver.com
2Department of Neurosurgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study is to evaluate the transition of lumbar spinal treatments for geriatric patients over 70 years old over two decades.
METHODS
We retrospectively assessed 730 patients who were 70 years and older and underwent lumbar surgery. We analyzed the number of diseases, operation methods and complications with 5-year intervals from 1987 to 2006. RESULT: The number of patients older than 70 years who underwent lumbar surgery increased according to our analysis of the period spanning from 1987 to 2006. Thirty-two (1%), 77 (1.7%), 232 (4.4%), and 389 (8.2%) patients over 70 years underwent lumbar spine surgeries. Among them, the 8, 29 and 45 patients had one level degenerative spondylolisthesis for the periods 1992-1996, 1997-2001 and 2002-2006. Twenty-four, 29 and 58 patients had lumbar stenosis during all these time periods. Over time, we performed a larger variety of operations as well as more aggressive operations. From January 2002 to December 2006, a total of 308 patients were over 70 years old and had lumbar spine surgeries performed on them. Among them, the ASA class I was 58 (19%), the ASA class II was 213 (69%) and the ASA class III was 37 (12%). During that period, PLIFs and PS fixations were performed on 69 patients. Among them, 8 patients were ASA III. Large numbers of lumbar arthorodesis have been performed in geriatric patients over the age of 70 years in our series.
CONCLUSION
The surgical treatment of degenerative spine disease in the elderly patients was increased due to improved surgical technique and advances in medical treatment including anesthesia. The authors suggest that fusion surgery can be done safely in elderly patients even though they have high-grade ASA classification.
Keywords: Geriatric patient;Lumbar spine;Degenerative spine disease;Spine surgery


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