Haifeng Liang, Shunyi Lu, Dongjie Jiang, Qinming Fei

January 2020, pp 1 - 14 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-019-06261-1

First Online: 07 January 2020

Clinical outcomes of lumbar spinal surgery in patients 80 years or older with lumbar stenosis or spondylolisthesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis


This systematic review and meta-analysis of all available evidence was performed to assess the safety and efficacy of surgery for lumbar stenosis and spondylolisthesis in patients 80 years or older versus those younger than 80 years.


A search of the literature was conducted in PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Collaboration Library. Relevant studies comparing the clinical outcomes of lumbar surgery in octogenarians and younger patients were selected according to the eligibility criteria. The predefined endpoints were extracted and meta-analysed from the identified studies.


Data from 16 observational studies including 374,197 patients were included in the final analysis. The pooled data revealed that patients 80 years or older had a significantly higher incidence of overall complication, mortality, readmission and longer length of hospital stay than younger patients. There was a similar improvement in the clinical symptoms (Oswestry Disability Index and pain) of patients in the two groups. No significant differences in overall wound complication, reoperation rate, operative time and intraoperative blood loss were found between the groups.


Our results revealed that the clinical improvement in pain and disability did not significantly differ according to age, although the patients aged 80 years or older had increased incidences of mortality and complication than younger patients. Age alone is not a contraindication for lumbar surgery in very old patients. A careful preoperative evaluation, proper patient selection and appropriate surgical approach are important to achieve successful surgical outcomes.

Graphic abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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