Effect of obesity on the development, management, and outcomes of spinal disorders

Deeptee Jain, Sigurd Berven

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Obesity is a major public health issue in the United States, and rates of obesity continue to increase across the population. The association of obesity with degenerative spinal pathology underlies the observation that a substantial number of patients undergoing spine surgery are either overweight or obese. Obesity is a notable independent risk factor for both surgical and medical complications in the perioperative period and an important consideration in preoperative planning, intraoperative strategies, and postoperative management. Despite these increased risks, surgery in obese patients for a variety of degenerative conditions results in improvement in outcomes. Although obese patients may undergo gains that are absolutely lower than their nonobese counterparts, they still experience a positive treatment effect with surgery appropriate for their condition. An evidence-based approach to both preoperative and perioperative management of patients with obesity is not well established. The purpose of this article is to review the effect of obesity on the development, management, and outcomes of patients with spinal disorders and to provide data that may guide an evidence-based approach to care in this expanding patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e499-e506
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


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