Degenerative Spine Surgery in Patients with Parkinson Disease: A Systematic Review

Gina Watanabe, Paolo Palmisciano, Andie Conching, Christian Ogasawara, Vishan Ramanathan, Yara Alfawares, Othman Bin-Alamer, Ali S. Haider, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Rishi Lall, Salah G. Aoun, Giuseppe E. Umana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Parkinson disease (PD) has been recognized as responsible for concurrent spinal disorders. Surgical correction may be necessary, but the complexity of such fragile patients may require specific considerations. We systematically reviewed the literature on degenerative spine surgery in patients with PD. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane were searched according to the PRISMA guidelines to include studies reporting clinical data of patients with PD undergoing degenerative spine surgery. Clinical characteristics, treatment protocols, and outcomes were analyzed. Results: We included 22 articles comprising 442 patients (61.5% female). Mean age was 66.9 ± 3.5 years (range, 41–83 years). Mean PD duration and modified Hoehn and Yahr stage were 4.46 ± 2.39 years and 2.3 ± 0.8, respectively. Operation types included fusion (55.3%) and decompression (41.6%). Mean operated spine levels were 6.0 ± 5.08. A total of 377 postoperative complications occurred in 34.6% patients, categorized into mechanical failure (58.0%), infection (15.1%), or neurologic (10.7%). Of patients, 31.8% required surgical revisions, with an average of 1.88 ± 1.03 revisions per patient. The average normalized presurgery, postsurgery, and final aggregate numeric patient outcome scores were 0.37 ± 0.13, 0.63 ± 0.18, and 0.61 ± 0.19, respectively, with a score of 0 and 1 representing the worst and best possible score. Conclusions: Degenerative spine surgery in patients with PD is challenging, with complications and revisions occurring in up to a third of treated patients. Surgery should be offered when other treatment options have proved ineffective and is typically reserved for patients with myelopathy or significant disability. Successful outcomes depend on strong interdisciplinary support to control the movement disorder before and after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-109.e2
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Degenerative spine surgery
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Parkinson disease
  • Spine fusion
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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