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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 Jun;158(6):1095-101. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-2802-8. Epub 2016 Apr 22.

The influence of lunar phases and zodiac sign 'Leo' on perioperative complications and outcome in elective spine surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, Rorschacher Str. 95, 9007, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Holger.Joswig@gmail.com.
2
Department of Neurosurgery and Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Geneva, Rue Gabrielle Perret-Gentil 4, 1205, Geneva, Switzerland.
3
Department of Neurosurgery, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, Rorschacher Str. 95, 9007, St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many people believe that the moon has an influence on daily life, and some even request elective surgery dates depending on the moon calendar. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of 'unfavorable' lunar or zodiac constellations on perioperative complications and outcome in elective surgery for degenerative disc disease.

METHODS:

Retrospective database analysis including 924 patients. Using uni- and multivariate logistic regression, the likelihood for intraoperative complications and re-do surgeries as well as the clinical outcomes at 4 weeks was analyzed for surgeries performed during the waxing moon, full moon, and dates when the moon passed through the zodiac sign 'Leo.'

RESULTS:

In multivariate analysis, patients operated on during the waxing moon were 1.54 times as likely as patients who were operated on during the waning moon to suffer from an intraoperative complication (OR 1.54, 95 % CI 1.07-2.21, p = 0.019). In contrast, there was a trend toward fewer re-do surgeries for surgery during the waxing moon (OR 0.51, 95 % CI 0.23-1.16, p = 0.109), while the 4-week responder status was similar (OR 0.73, 95 % CI 0.47-1.14, p = 0.169). A full moon and the zodiac sign Leo did not increase the likelihood for complications, re-do surgeries or unfavorable outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found no influence of 'unfavorable' lunar or zodiac constellations on the 4-week responder status or the revision rate that would justify a moon calendar-based selection approach to elective spine surgery dates. However, the fact that patients undergoing surgery during the waxing moon were more likely to suffer from an intraoperative complication is a surprising curiosity and defies our ability to find a rational explanation.

KEYWORDS:

Complications; Lunar phase; Moon phase; Neurosurgery; Spine surgery; Superstition

PMID:
27106845
DOI:
10.1007/s00701-016-2802-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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