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Vitamin D Deficiency May Increase Spinal Fusion Non-Union

Vitamin D Deficiency May Increase Spinal Fusion Non-Union

A study from Spine may have found a strong correlation between perioperative vitamin D levels and successful unions after spinal fusion surgery. The study involved 133 patients, 49% had their cervical spine fused, 47% had their lumbar spine fused, and 4% had their thoracic spine fused. According to the report, 31% of patients had a vitamin D deficiency. The results from the study uncovered the following:

  • After 12 months, 20% of patients with adequate vitamin D levels reported non-unions compared to 38% of patients with a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Vitamin D deficient patients had a union time that lasted, on average, 12 months compared to those with adequate vitamin D levels, which was 6 months.
  • When other factors were adjusted for the study, like age, gender, obesity, fusion length, location, etc., vitamin d deficiencies were still to blame for non-unions after a spinal fusion.

Despite the strong evidence supporting adequate levels of vitamin D for post-spinal fusion unions, it’s important patients take this information with a grain of salt. There are a number of health factors that may affect the possibility of non-unions. Nevertheless, vitamin D is incredibly important for strong, healthy bones, so it’s imperative patient consider this fact before undergoing surgery.

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids that are responsible for enhancing the absorption of:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphate
  • Zinc

The best way to get vitamin D is through sunlight. You can also get it by consuming certain foods such as fatty fish, fortified milk and cereal, orange juice, supplements, and egg yolks. Talk to Dr. Mark Giovanini today if you believe you have a vitamin D deficiency, or if you’d like to receive nutrition counseling before your minimally invasive spine procedure.


  • A new study published in the medical journal Spine analyzed the link between perioperative (pre-, intra-, and postoperative stages) vitamin D levels and non-union rates after spinal fusion.
  • The study found patients with vitamin D deficiencies had an increased risk of spinal fusion non-unions compared to those with adequate vitamin D levels.
  •  Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine explains findings from this study and discusses the importance of vitamin D for bone health.

For more information on whether spinal surgery is necessary for your condition, or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine, please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.