Document Type: Original Article
Trauma Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Background: As life expectancy in the society increases, the rate of degenerative diseases of the spine surge dramatically. Therefore, the number of patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery rises; however, the effectiveness of this operation is still controversial.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate disability and quality of life in patients undergoing spinal fusion and compare the results with a matched general population sample.
Methods: In this prospective study, which was conducted during 2015 - 2016 in Iran, data were collected from 100 patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery at Baqiyatallah and Shariati Hospitals. We also recruited 100 people from the general population in the hospital matched with the patients with regard to sex, age, and smoking status. The participants filled out the 36-item short form (SF-36) and Oswestry disability index (ODI) questionnaires. The collected data on the quality of life and disability of patients, before and three and six months after the surgery were compared.
Results: The patient and general population groups were matched in terms of sex, age, educational level, body mass index (BMI), employment status, and smoking status (P > 0.05). Preoperative ODI score in the patients was 54.8 (SD 15.7), and six months after the surgery, it diminished to 24.8 (SD 9.25). ODI score in the general population sample was 17.5 (SD 8.3). Although disability improved significantly six months after surgery, it did not reach the level of the general population sample (P < 0.001). All aspects of the SF-36 improved six months after surgery (P < 0.05) and the patients reached the general population sample in emotional, mental health, and vitality subscales of SF-36 (P > 0.05). They did not reach the general population sample in other subscales of SF-36 (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Despite the significant improvement in disability and all subscales of quality of life in the patients, they did not reach the general population sample in disability index, physical function, general health, physical role, social function, and pain subscales of the SF-36. However, they reached general population sample level in emotional, mental health, and vitality subscales of the SF-36.