Effects of menopausal state on lumbar decompression and fusion surgery

Dallas L. Sheinberg, Roberto J. Perez-Roman, Julian G. Lugo-Pico, Iahn Cajigas, Karthik H. Madhavan, Barth A. Green, Joseph P. Gjolaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Menopause leads to fluctuations in androgenic hormones which directly affect bone metabolism. Bone resorption, mineralization, and remodeling at fusion sites are essential in order to obtain a solid and biomechanically stable fusion mass. Bone metabolic imbalance seen in the postmenopausal state may predispose to fusion related complications. The aim of this study was to investigate fusion outcomes in lumbar spinal fusion surgery in women based on menopausal status. A retrospective analysis of all female patients who underwent posterior lumbar decompression and fusion at a single institution from 2013 to 2017 was performed. A total of 112 patients were identified and stratified into premenopausal (n = 25) and postmenopausal (n = 87) groups. Clinical and radiographic data was assessed at 1 year follow up. Postmenopausal patients had a higher rates of pseudarthrosis (11.63% vs 0%, p = 0.08), PJK (15.1% vs 4%, p = 0.14), and revision surgery (3.5% vs 0%, p = 0.35). The number of levels fused was associated with increased risk of pseudarthrosis (OR 1.4, p = 0.02); however, there was no association between age, hormonal use, prior tobacco use, or T-score. Age was associated with increased risk of developing PJK (OR = 1.11, p = 0.01); however, PJK was not associated with menopause, hormonal use, prior tobacco use, or T-score. Revision surgery was not associated with age, hormonal use, prior tobacco use, or T-score. This study suggests that postmenopausal women may be prone to have higher rates of pseudarthrosis, PJK and revision surgery, although our results were not statistically significant. Larger studies with longer follow up will help elucidate the true effects of menopause in spine surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Estrogen
  • Lumbar fusion
  • Menopause
  • Proximal junctional kyphosis
  • Pseudarthrosis
  • Revision surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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