Obesity and back pain

A July 2022 paper (1) assessed the likelihood of success of a spinal surgery in an obese patient. The researchers wrote: “An increasing number of obese patients requires operative care for degenerative spinal disorders. The aim of this review is to analyze the available evidence regarding the role of obesity on outcomes after spine surgery. Peri-operative complications and clinical results are evaluated for both cervical and lumbar surgery. Furthermore, the contribution of minimally invasive techniques for lumbar surgery to play a role in reducing risks has been analyzed.”

To make this assessment the researchers combined outcomes of 130 previous published studies. The evidence they found suggests: “obese patients could benefit from spine surgery and outcomes be satisfactory. A higher rate of peri-operative complications is reported among obese patients, especially in posterior approaches. The use of MIS techniques plays a key role in order to reduce surgical risks.”

1 Cofano F, Perna GD, Bongiovanni D, Roscigno V, Baldassarre BM, Petrone S, Tartara F, Garbossa D, Bozzaro M. Obesity and spine surgery: a qualitative review about outcomes and complications. is it time for new perspectives on future researches?. Global Spine Journal. 2022 Jul;12(6):1214-30.

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