Gender differences in the surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation in elderly

Fredrik Strömqvist, Björn Strömqvist, Bo Jönsson, Magnus K. Karlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Outcome after lumbar disc herniation (LDH) surgery in middle-aged patient is usually reported to fulfill the criteria for successful outcome. It is also known that women in these years have an inferior outcome compared to men. This study evaluates whether the same gender differences exist in elderly. Method: In the national Swedish register for spine surgery (SweSpine) we identified 1668 patients ≥65 years. 1250 of these patients had both pre- and 1-year postoperative data registered, 53 % males with mean age 70.6 ± 5.0 (mean ± SD) and 47 % females with mean age 71.3 ± 5.2. All were surgically treated due to LDH between 2000 and 2012. Results: Before surgery both men and women had severe impairment, compared to normative data, in all patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), with women having inferior status to men. Improvement by surgery was similar in both genders but neither of them reached normative values in quality of life as compared to normative age-matched individuals. As a consequence of this women 1 year after surgery had more back and leg pain, higher consumption of analgesics, greater impairment in walking distance and inferior scoring in virtually all registered PROMs compared to men (all p <0.005). In spite of this women were as satisfied with the surgical outcome as the men. Conclusion: Elderly women with LDH surgery report inferior outcome compared to males, mainly as a result of being referred to surgery with an inferior status but are despite this as satisfied with outcome as the men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3528–3535
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number11
Early online date2016 Jun 10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • Elderly
  • Gender
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Outcome


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in the surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation in elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this