The efficacy of oral vitamin D supplements on fusion outcome in patients receiving elective lumbar spinal fusion-a randomized control trial

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022 Nov 18;23(1):996. doi: 10.1186/s12891-022-05948-9.


BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported that vitamin D supplement could improve fracture healing, but evidence regarding the role of vitamin D supplements in spinal fusion was limited. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of oral vitamin D supplements on fusion outcomes in patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion.

METHODS: This randomized, double-blind, parallel-designed, active-control trial included the patients who planned for elective lumbar spinal fusion. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive either daily vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 800 IU and daily calcium citrate 600 mg (experimental group) or only daily calcium citrate 600 mg (control group). All supplements were given from postoperative day 1 and lasted for 3 months. Primary outcome was postoperative 1-year fusion rate, and secondary outcomes included time to fusion, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain.

RESULTS: Among the included 34 patients (21 in the experimental group and 13 in the control group), baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OHVitD) level was 26.7 (10.4) ng/ml. Preoperative prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were 23.5% and 47.1%, respectively. Postoperative 1-year fusion rate was not significantly different between the two groups (95.2% vs. 84.6%, P = 0.544). The experimental group had significantly shorter time to fusion (Kaplan-Meier estimated: 169 days vs. 185 days [interquartile range: 88-182 days vs. 176-324 days], log-rank test: P = 0.028), lower postoperative 6-month ODI (P < 0.001), and lower postoperative 6-month VAS (P < 0.001) than the control group. Time to fusion was significantly and negatively correlated with preoperative, postoperative 3-month, and 6-month 25(OH)VitD levels (all P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: The patient with vitamin D supplements had shorter time to fusion, better spinal function and less pain after elective spinal fusion. Further research is warranted to identify the patients who can benefit the most from vitamin D supplements and the appropriate dose of vitamin D supplements.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:, NCT05023122. Registered 20 August 2021. Retrospectively registered, .

PMID:36401234 | DOI:10.1186/s12891-022-05948-9


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