The Effect of Diabetes Mellitus on Revision Discectomy After Single-level Lumbar Discectomy


Diabetes currently affects over 25 million Americans, with the elderly carrying much of the disease burden. It’s well known that diabetes increases the risk of surgical complications, but few studies have analyzed its effects on reoperation rates after single-level lumbar discectomy. Data was obtained using the commercially available Explorys software, which houses de-identified data for several healthcare systems. A database search was conducted to fi nd all patients who’d undergone a lumbar discectomy. Scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, smoking history and obesity were excluded as possible confounding variables, after which 31,210 patients remained. Of them, 950 were found to have undergone a revision discectomy within 2 years. Those with diabetes were found to have a relative risk of 1.29 for revision discectomy compared to those who did not, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.10–1.52, p < 0.002. These findings contribute to the importance of modifiable risk factor assessment preoperatively and their effects on surgical complications. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(3):159–161, 2020) Key words: revision, discectomy, diabetes mellitus, Explorys, herniated disc, reoperation, modifiable risk factor

Eric J. Smith, MD; Bradley P. Inkrott, MD; Jerry Y. Du, MD; Chang-Yeon Kim, MD; Uri M. Ahn, MD; and Nicholas U. Ahn, MD