Another Diagnosis to Worry About: Sarcopenia

Patients with severe sarcopenia had dramatically poorer results following laminoplasty — are you making or missing this key diagnosis?

What’s the Claim?

A retrospective, comparative study found that patients with sarcopenia — a newer term referring to the loss of skeletal muscle, which probably is closely related to overall frailty — fared poorly after C4-6 laminoplasty. Specifically, when compared with patients with mild or no sarcopenia, those with severe fatty infiltration of their paraspinal musculature on pre-op CT scans:

  • Had more persistent neck pain and neck-related disability
  • Were substantially less likely to achieve a substantial clinical benefit (SCB) in outcomes scores (13% versus 89%) after recovery from surgery
  • Were much more likely to report worsening outcomes scores rather than improvements after surgery (43% versus 11%)

How’s It Stack Up?