Depression and persistent low-back pain (LBP) are common and disabling problems in elderly patients (> 65 years old). Affective disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are also common in elderly patients, with a prevalence ranging from 4% to 16%. Depressive symptoms are consistently associated with functional disability. To date, few studies have assessed the predictive value of baseline depression on outcomes in the setting of revision spine surgery in elderly patients. Therefore, in this study, the authors assessed the predictive value of preoperative depression on 2-year postoperative outcomes.
A total of 69 patients undergoing revision neural decompression and instrumented fusion for adjacent-segment disease (ASD, n = 28), pseudarthrosis (n = 17), or same-level recurrent stenosis (n = 24) were included in this study. Preoperative Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (ZDS) scores were assessed for all patients. Preoperative and 2-year postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back pain (VAS-BP) and leg pain (VAS-LP) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were also assessed. The association between preoperative ZDS score and 2-year improvement in disability was assessed via multivariate regression analysis.
Compared with preoperative status, 2-year postoperative VAS-BP was significantly improved after surgery for ASD (9 ± 2 vs 4.01 ± 2.56, respectively; p = 0.001), as were pseudarthrosis (7.41 ± 1 vs 5.0 ± 3.08, respectively; p = 0.02) and same-level recurrent stenosis (7 ± 2.00 vs 5.00 ± 2.34, respectively; p = 0.003). Two-year ODI was also significantly improved after surgery for ASD (29 ± 9 vs 23.10 ± 10.18, respectively; p = 0.001), as were pseudarthrosis (28.47 ± 5.85 vs 24.41 ± 7.75, respectively; p = 0.001) and same-level recurrent stenosis (30.83 ± 5.28 vs 26.29 ± 4.10, respectively; p = 0.003). Independent of other factors—age, body mass index, symptom duration, smoking, comorbidities, severity of preoperative pain, and disability—increasing preoperative ZDS score was significantly associated with lower 2-year improvement in disability (ODI) after revision surgery in elderly patients with symptomatic ASD, pseudarthrosis, or recurrent stenosis.
The extent of preoperative depression is an independent predictor of less functional improvement following revision lumbar surgery in elderly patients with symptomatic ASD, pseudarthrosis, or recurrent stenosis. Timely diagnosis and treatment of depression and somatic anxiety in this cohort of patients may contribute to improvement in postoperative functional status.