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Spinal fusion patients 'lack vitamin D'

Thursday 3rd November 2011
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    Many patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery lack vitamin D, a new study has shown.

    More than half of patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery had inadequate levels of vitamin D, according to a study presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society.

    Moreover, a quarter of these patients were seen to be more severely lacking in the vitamin.

    A vitamin D deficiency could hinder recovery after spinal fusion surgery.

    "Our findings suggest it may be worthwhile to screen surgery patients for vitamin D," says lead researcher Jacob M Buchowski.

    "We think those with insufficient levels of vitamin D may benefit from taking 50,000 international units of the vitamin once a week for eight weeks before surgery as this may help the recovery after spinal fusion surgery."

    Meanwhile, a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that individuals taking oral steroids are twice as likely as the general population to have a significant lack of vitamin D in their system.

    Written by James Puckle

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