Degenerative spine conditions affect many people each year. These conditions have been shown to negatively impact pain, function, and patient quality of life (QOL), which often require surgical intervention. It is understood that sleep plays an important role in all of these factors. However, the relationship between sleep disruption and lumbar surgery is not well understood. The objective of this study was to use a large database to understand the relationship between sleep quality and lumbar spine surgery outcomes.
The surgical database of the authors’ institute was used to identify all patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery for degenerative spine disease from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2021. Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) sleep disturbance scores were collected, and only patients with both pre- and postoperative scores were included. Additional measures related to disability, pain, and depression were also obtained. Chart review was performed to collect patient demographics, health risk factors, and information related to sleep disturbances such as sleep medication usage and prior sleep condition diagnosis.
The study had 674 patients who met the criteria. At 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively, there was a significant decrease in sleep disruption scores (i.e., sleep improvement), although these decreases were not greater than the minimal clinically important difference (MCID). When stratified based on preoperative sleep quality, patients with poor preoperative scores (PROMIS sleep disruption > 63.04) showed a significant decrease in sleep disruption by 8.17 at 3 months, 7.99 at 6 months, and 7.21 at 12 months. All of these decreases were greater than the sleep disruption MCID of 6.5. Multivariate analysis showed high preoperative sleep disruption and improvement in PROMIS physical health were most associated with decreased postoperative sleep disruption at all postoperative time points.
In patients with degenerative spine conditions, lumbar spine surgery offers improvement in sleep disruption for all patients. Those with poor preoperative sleep quality are more likely to see clinical improvement in their sleep disruption.