Clinical Study| Volume 15, ISSUE 2, P265-271, February 01, 2015

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National trends in the surgical treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease: United States, 2000 to 2009

  • Hiroyuki Yoshihara
    Corresponding author. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA. Tel./fax: (718) 270-8995.
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA

    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 467-8601, Japan

    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nassau University Medical Center, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA
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  • Daisuke Yoneoka
    Department of Statistical Sciences, School of Advanced Sciences, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8562, Japan
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Published:October 01, 2014DOI:


      Background context

      Surgical treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease (DDD) remains controversial. Options include anterior lumbar interbody fusion, posterior approach fusion procedures such as posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and posterolateral lumbar fusion (PLF), anterior and posterior lumbar fusion (APLF), and total disc replacement (TDR). However, the trends during the last decade are uncertain.


      To examine the trends in the surgical treatment for lumbar DDD on a national level.

      Study design

      A retrospective analysis of population-based national hospital discharge data collected for the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS).

      Patient sample

      In the NIS from 2000 to 2009, patients aged 18 years or older with primary diagnosis of lumbar/lumbosacral DDD who underwent surgical treatment were included.

      Outcome measures

      Trends in the surgical treatment for lumbar DDD.


      Clinical data were derived from the NIS between 2000 and 2009. Patients aged 18 years or older with a primary diagnosis of lumbar/lumbosacral DDD who underwent spinal fusion or TDR were identified. Data regarding patient- and health care system-related characteristics were retrieved and analyzed.


      A total of 380,305 patients underwent surgical treatment for lumbar DDD between 2000 and 2009. Population adjusted incidence increased 2.4-fold from 2000 to 2009. Among the procedures, APLF increased 3.0-fold and PLIF/PLF increased 2.8-fold. Total disc replacement did not increase significantly. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion was performed in 16.8% of patients, PLIF/PLF in 67.9%, APLF in 13.6%, and TDR in 1.8%. Surgical treatment for lumbar DDD was 1.8 times more common in the Midwest region and 1.7 times more common in the South region than in the Northeast region. Total disc replacement was more common in younger patients and in the Northeast region. Poterior lumbar interbody fusion/PLF was more common in older patients and in the South region.


      During the last decade, surgical treatment for lumbar DDD has increased 2.4-fold in the United States. Although all fusion procedures significantly increased, TDR did not increase. Surgical treatment for lumbar DDD was more common in the Midwest and South regions. Trends in the procedures were different depending on the age group and hospital region.


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