Obesity Tied to Higher Risk of Complications in Spinal Surgery

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Obesity and Spine Surgery

While obesity is famously tied to increasing risks for heart disease and diabetes, now comes another reason to lose weight: being obese may contribute to a greater likelihood of complications in delicate spine surgery.

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John Ratliff, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery and orthopedic surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, reviewed 332 cases of thoracic and lumbar spinal surgery for routine degenerative conditions that he performed from 2002 to 2005 at Rush University Medical Center and the Neurological and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago.

He found that 71 percent of his patients were overweight, including 39 percent who were obese

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