For elderly patients, posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is usually performed to treat lumbar degenerative diseases. However, some patients exhibit pseudarthrosis following such procedures. The anabolic agent teriparatide is an approved treatment for promoting bone formation in osteoporotic patients. Our multicenter, prospective randomized study assessed the role of once-weekly teriparatide administration on patient outcomes following interbody fusion.Methods:
Patients were females who were ≥50 years of age, had a bone mineral density (BMD) of <80% of the sex-matched young adult mean and/or previous spinal compression or femoral fractures, and had lumbar degenerative disease. Patients were randomly allocated to receive either weekly teriparatide, administered subcutaneously starting at week 1, for 6 months postoperatively (the teriparatide arm), or no teriparatide (the control arm). Blinded radiographic evaluations were performed using dynamic radiography and computed tomography (CT) and assessed by modified intention-to-treat analysis and per-protocol analysis. Clinical and neurological symptoms were evaluated using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire (JOA-BPEQ) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).Results:
Seventy-five patients were randomized to treatment, and 66 patients completed treatment. At 4 months postoperatively, bone fusion in the 2 center CT slices was significantly higher in the teriparatide arm compared with the control arm in the age-adjusted modified intention-to-treat analysis and was significantly higher at 6 months in the per-protocol analysis. Radiographic examinations showed no disc-space narrowing and no intervertebral disc instability. JOA-BPEQ and ODI results were improved postoperatively in both treatment arms.Conclusions:
Weekly administration of teriparatide promoted bone formation at the surgical fusion site and decreased bone resorption, as indicated by bone metabolic marker results, within the early postoperative period. Our findings suggest that combining lumbar interbody fusion and teriparatide treatment may be an effective option for managing lumbar degenerative disease in elderly patients.Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.