The Effect of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome on Spine Surgery Outcomes

Anitesh Bajaj*, Rohan M. Shah, Hogan Brecount, Steven Kurapaty, Alpesh A. Patel, Srikanth N. Divi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Diabetes and metabolic syndrome are highly prevalent in patients undergoing spine surgery. This review aims to capture both the findings of recently published literature investigating the effects of diabetes and metabolic syndrome on spine surgery outcomes and the current best practices in patient management. Recent Findings: Diabetes and metabolic syndrome both contribute to worse outcomes in patients undergoing spine surgery. Although patients with diabetes are at greater risk of complications, those with uncontrolled diabetes experience increased healthcare costs and greater odds of postoperative complications. Furthermore, metabolic syndrome is repeatedly shown to have an adverse effect on spine surgery outcomes, including healthcare costs and medical complications. Summary: Spine surgeons should coordinate care with primary care physicians to optimize the preoperative profile of patients with comorbidities like diabetes and metabolic syndrome to minimize operative risk. With the shift to value-based care, understanding the patient factors that lead to complications is becoming increasingly important. Future studies should build upon the current literature and design preoperative interventions for at-risk patients. Additionally, further research is needed to analyze the modulatory effects of the social determinants of health in patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Spine complications
  • Spine surgery
  • Surgical outcomes
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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