Management of osteoporosis in spine surgery

Ronald A. Lehman, Daniel Gene Kang, Scott Cameron Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Osteoporosis is a burgeoning clinical problem that is characterized by decreased bone strength and density. It predisposes patients to fragility fractures and debilitating spine deformities. Several complications are associated with spine surgery in patients with osteoporosis, and there is currently no treatment algorithm to guide the spine surgeon. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment of patients with osteoporosis and spine deformity or fracture is encouraged, and preoperative planning is crucial for successful surgical outcomes. Several surgical techniques have been developed to treat osteoporosis-related deformities, including posterior instrumentation with fusion. However, achieving fixation and fusion in these patients can be difficult secondary to poor bone stock. Augmentation methods to improve pedicle screw fixation have evolved, including instrumentation at multiple levels, bioactive cement augmentation, and fenestrated or expandable pedicle screws, but their impact on clinical outcomes remains unknown. Management of osteoporosis in patients undergoing spine surgery is challenging, but with appropriate patient selection, medical optimization, and surgical techniques, these patients can experience pain relief, deformity correction, and improved function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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