Spine

Control or No, Diabetes Boosts Spine Surgery Complications

Neil Osterweil

BOSTON — Even when it is under control, diabetes mellitus (DM) is a significant risk factor for acute perioperative complications in patients undergoing degenerative surgical spine procedures.

A review of records on more than 213,000 cervical spine surgeries over a decade showed that compared with nondiabetic patients, those with controlled DM had a significantly increased risk for postoperative cardiac, respiratory, and genitourinary complications.

Although the overall risk for death was low, patients with controlled DM had nearly double the mortality of those without DM, reported Branko Skovrlj, MD, a fifth-year neurosurgery resident at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues.

“Controlled DM was found to significantly increase costs and LOS [length of stay]. Additionally, there was a 1.9-fold increase in mortality rates in those patients with controlled DM when compared to non-diabetic population,” they reported in a poster session at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) 2014 Annual Meeting.

The investigators had previously compared outcomes in patients with well-controlled and poorly controlled DM and found that “poor glycemic control increases the odds of inpatient mortality and perioperative complications in patients undergoing degenerative cervical spine surgery” (Spine. 2014;39;1656-1665).

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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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