Long-term Outcomes of Lumbar Fusion Among Workers’ Compensation Subjects: A Historical Cohort Study

Lumbar arthrodesis (fusion) is a surgical procedure per­formed to unite spinal vertebrae to eliminate mobility. There have been few published studies evaluating lumbar fusion outcomes in US workers’ compensation subjects.1, 41–4 In these studies, reoperation rates are the only outcome that has been consistently reported (about 22%). Surgical com­plications of 12% were reported in only one study at 3 months after surgery.1 Permanent or temporary disability results 2 years after fusion are variable among the studies, 18% to 68%.1, 2, 4 Similarly, return to work status (RTW) also varied from 41% to 78%.2,