Impact of postoperative fatigue following minimally-invasive lumbar spine surgery

Gaetano De Biase, Andrea Otamendi-Lopez, Selby Chen, Elird Bojaxhi, Shaun E. Gruenbaum, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Postoperative fatigue is a distressing symptom and can have a major impact on the patient's quality of life after surgery. We investigate the extent of postoperative fatigue following minimally invasive spine surgery under general anesthesia (GA), and its impact on patients’ quality of life (QOL) and activities of daily living (ADLs). Methods: We surveyed patients that underwent minimally-invasive lumbar spine surgery under GA within the previous year. A five-point Likert scale (“very much”, “quite a bit”, “somewhat”, “a little bit”, “not at all”) was used to assess the extent of fatigue during the first postoperative month, its impact on QOL, and ADLs. Results: The survey was completed by 100 patients, 61% were male, mean age 64.6 ± 12.5 years, 31% underwent MIS-TLIF, 69% lumbar laminectomy. During the first postoperative month 45% of patients referred significant fatigue (“very much” or “quite a bit”); for 31% of patients fatigue significantly impacted their QOL; significantly limited their ADLs in 43% of patients. MIS-TLIF was associated with higher rate of postoperative fatigue compared to laminectomy (61.3% versus 37.7%, p = 0.02). Patients 65 years old or older had higher rates of fatigue compared to younger patients (55.6% versus 32.6%, p = 0.02). We did not observe a significant difference in postoperative fatigue between male and female patients. Conclusions: Our study revealed a substantial incidence of postoperative fatigue in patients that underwent minimally-invasive lumbar spine surgery under GA, with a significant impact on QOL and ADLs. There is a need to research new strategies to reduce fatigue after spine surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Awake spine surgery
  • Minimally-invasive spine surgery
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Postoperative fatigue
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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