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Significant Number of Spine Patients Develop Depression and/or Anxiety

OrthoSpineNews reports on the findings of an HSS study co-authored by anesthesiologist Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD, MBA, and published in Spine, which evaluated trends and risk factors for new-onset anxiety and depression after spine fusion.

The retrospective database study involved 39,495 patients who underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and posterior lumbar fusion from 2012 to 2015, culled from the Truven MarketScan database. “Mental health outcomes after surgery are often overlooked by surgeons but have been described to be a significant problem in this context. Patients after surgery experience profound disruptions in their life, have pain, suffer disturbances in their sleep and their preoperative expectations may not align with the realities experienced after surgery. All these factors impact a patient’s physical and mental wellbeing. However, data quantifying this problem and identifying potential risk factors are not widely available. That is the reason why we sought to investigate this topic on a population level,” explained Dr. Memtsoudis.

Of the findings, Dr. Memtsoudis noted, “The most important finding, was the fact that new onset depression and anxiety are common amongst patients undergoing spine surgery. Further, the numbers presented here are likely underestimating the true incidence. Undiagnosed and untreated anxiety and depression are likely much more common. Further the link between chronic pain and the outcome in question is important and needs to be taken into account by physicians treating patients requiring surgery of the spine. If this link is causal in nature it cannot be answered with our data source and requires further study.”

Read the full article at Orthospinenews.com.