Clinical Outcomes of Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Patients 80 Years of Age and Older with Lumbar Degenerative Disease: Minimum 2 Years' Follow-Up

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Study Design

Retrospective study.


To compare clinical outcomes, radiographic evaluations including bony union rate and incidence of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVFxs), and perioperative complications following posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) between patients ≥80 years of age and those <80 years.


Ninety-six patients ≥70 years old who underwent PLIF were reviewed. We divided the patients into the two age groups, ≥80 group (n = 19) and <80 group (n = 77), and compared the clinical outcomes using Japanese Orthopaedics Association (JOA) scores and the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). We also evaluated bony union and the incidence of OVFxs in the both groups.


The JOA score improved 47.6% in the ≥80 group and 49.1% in the <80 group. There were no significant differences between the two groups. Only the bodily pain component of the SF-36 improved significantly in the ≥80 group, and seven of eight components (exception was general health) improved significantly in the <80 group. Bony union rate was significantly superior in the <80 group (94.8%) compared with that of the ≥80 group (73.7%, p = 0.013). OVFx prevalence and incidence were not significantly different between the two groups, although postoperative OVFx worsened the JOA score improvement in the ≥80 group (38.8%, p = 0.02).


The present study indicated that surgical outcomes of PLIF in patients ≥80 years were comparable to those < 80 years. However, bony union rate was significantly lower and postoperative OVFx worsened the clinical outcomes in patients ≥80 years.

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