Sexual dysfunction: Prevalence and prognosis in patients operated for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis

Andrew K. Chan, Erica F. Bisson, Kai Ming Fu, Paul Park, Leslie C. Robinson, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Michael Y. Wang, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed A. Alvi, Jian GuanRegis W. Haid, Praveen V. Mummaneni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of investigation on the impact of spondylolisthesis surgery on back pain-related sexual inactivity. OBJECTIVE: To investigate predictors of improved sex life postoperatively by utilizing the prospective Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) registry. METHODS: A total of 218 patients who underwent surgery for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis were included who were sexually active. Sex life was assessed by Oswestry Disability Index item 8 at baseline and 24-mo follow-up. RESULTS: Mean age was 58.0 ± 11.0 yr, and 108 (49.5%) patients were women. At baseline, 178 patients (81.7%) had sex life impairment. At 24 mo, 130 patients (73.0% of the 178 impaired) had an improved sex life. Those with improved sex lives noted higher satisfaction with surgery (84.5% vs 64.6% would undergo surgery again, P =.002). In multivariate analyses, lower body mass index (BMI) was associated with improved sex life (OR = 1.14; 95% CI [1.05-1.20]; P <.001). In the younger patients (age < 57 yr), lower BMI remained the sole significant predictor of improvement (OR = 1.12; 95% CI [1.03-1.23]; P =.01). In the older patients (age ≥ 57 yr)-in addition to lower BMI (OR = 1.12; 95% CI [1.02-1.27]; P =.02)-lower American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grades (1 or 2) (OR = 3.7; 95% CI [1.2-12.0]; P =.02) and ≥4 yr of college education (OR = 3.9; 95% CI [1.2-15.1]; P =.03) were predictive of improvement. CONCLUSION: Over 80% of patients who present for surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis report a negative effect of the disease on sex life. However, most patients (73%) report improvement postoperatively. Sex life improvement was associated with greater satisfaction with surgery. Lower BMI was predictive of improved sex life. In older patients-in addition to lower BMI-lower ASA grade and higher education were predictive of improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Lumbar
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Quality Outcomes Database
  • Sex life
  • Spondylolisthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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