Trabecular, cortical microarchitecture associated with complications after spinal fusion
Patients with abnormalities in trabecular and cortical microarchitecture may be at higher risk for complications at 6 months after spinal fusion surgery, according to published results.
Researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery prospectively analyzed 54 patients (mean age of 63 years) who underwent multi-level lumbar or thoracolumbar spinal fusion from December 2017 to December 2019. They used high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT) to measure volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), as well as trabecular and cortical microarchitecture, according to the study.
From the cohort, 14 patients had skeletal complications. Researchers noted these patients were similar in age and BMI.
DXA measurements showed no difference in baseline areal BMD and trabecular bone score. However, HR-pQCT results showed patients who experienced complications had lower trabecular vBMD, thinner tibial cortices, and fewer and thinner trabeculae at both the radius and tibia.
“In summary, abnormalities of both trabecular and cortical microarchitecture were associated the development of complications within the first 6 months following spine fusion surgery,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Given the burgeoning number of fusion surgeries, further studies are necessary to investigate strategies that may improve bone quality and lower the risk of postoperative complications,” they added.