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Global Spine J. 2018 May;8(3):237-243. doi: 10.1177/2192568217710854. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

Influence of Gender on Health-Related Quality of Life and Disability at 1 Year After Surgery for Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures.

Author information

Neurosurgery Department, Cluj County Emergency Hospital, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Hatieganu" Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.


Study Design:

Case series.


Thoracolumbar burst fractures (TLBF) are the most frequent type of spinal fractures. Approximately half of the patients are neurologically intact and their treatment is still debatable. Gender could influence outcome after surgical procedures, but this is still unclear in patients sustaining a spinal fracture. The aim of this study was to investigate how gender influences health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and disability in patients operated on for TLBF.


We identified 44 neurologically intact patients from a consecutive series of patients treated surgically for a single-level traumatic burst fracture (AOSpine Subaxial Classification System A3) in the thoracolumbar transition area (Th12-L2). At 1 year after surgery, they were evaluated using the SF-36v2 questionnaire to assess HRQOL and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire to evaluate disability.


Male patients scored higher in each item of the SF-36v2, with significant differences (P < .05) for Physical Function (PF), Bodily Pain (BP), and Social Function (SF). Male patients also had lower disability scores. Overall ODI score had a strong correlation with Physical Function, Role-Physical, Bodily Pain, Vitality, Mental Health, and overall Physical Component Summary (PCS) of the SF-36 in women, but only with Physical Function, Role-Physical, Role-Emotional, and PCS in men.


In this study, male patients reported better outcomes at 1 year after surgery for TLBF than women. Disability strongly correlated with the overall HRQOL, physical and mental health in women, but not in men. We found gender-related differences favoring men after surgical interventions for spinal fractures.


disability after spine surgery; gender influence on outcome; health-related quality of life; thoraco-lumbar burst fractures

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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