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Incidence of Osteopenia/Osteoporosis in Spine Fusion Patients

Orthopedics This Week reports on an HSS study presented at the annual AAOS conference that looked at the incidence of osteopenia in spine fusion patients.

Senior investigator Alexander P. Hughes, MD, spine surgeon at HSS, explains, "I think the most important component of this is understanding that QCT is a more accessible and reliable means to establish the bone density of patients undergoing lumbar fusion surgery (all patients at our institution undergoing fusion receive a pre-op CT for diagnostic reasons). Furthermore, a much higher proportion of ‘healthy’ surgical patients have bone deficiencies that need to be considered in the perioperative period. DXA is the more traditional modality for obtaining bone density information. However, most men do not obtain DXA studies (in fact often insurances won’t approve it). Furthermore, DXA is less reliable than QCT because it is more falsely impacted by patients who are overweight and by significant degenerative disease."

"QCT is becoming the gold standard for the assessment of bone density in orthopedic patients. Orthopedists should understand that a much higher proportion of both men and woman undergoing orthopedic surgery are impacted by bone deficiencies than previously understood. Understanding this will impact perioperative decision making," adds Dr. Hughes.

Read the full article at RyOrtho.com.