ScienceDaily (Nov. 3, 2011) — A new study indicates that many patients undergoing spine surgery have low levels of vitamin D, which may delay their recovery.
In a study of 313 patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery, orthopaedic surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that more than half had inadequate levels of vitamin D, including one-fourth who were more severely deficient.
The researchers report their findings at the 26th Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society. The study was chosen as one of the meeting’s best papers.
“Our findings suggest it may be worthwhile to screen surgery patients for vitamin D,” says Jacob M. Buchowski, MD, the study’s principal investigator. “We think those with insufficient levels of vitamin D may benefit from taking 50,000 international units of the vitamin once a week for eight weeks before surgery as this may help the recovery after spinal fusion surgery.”