Researchers have found a potential link between vitamin D and your spinal health. In recent studies, they’ve observed that those about to undergo spinal-fusion surgery due to spinal health issues also have shockingly low levels of vitamin D in their system. Students and professors conducted this study at Washington University of St. Louis and recently presented at the conference of the North American Spinal Society.
For the study, researchers at Washington University of St. Louis checked 313 different patients that had been scheduled for the spinal-fusion surgery mentioned above. Slightly over half, or 57 percent, of the patients scheduled for that surgery had low enough vitamin D levels that they would be deemed deficient at any regular health screening. The operation they were scheduled for to correct their spinal issue requires new bone to be made by the body, which takes quite a bit of vitamin D, tremendously concerning for their doctors.
They performed this study with the hope that revealing a previously unheard of link between vitamin D and your overall spinal health would lead to less spinal problems for patients in the future and a decrease in spinal-fusion surgeries. This could mean a vast improvement in the quality of life for future generations.
What It Means
This research means a much more prominent change for doctors than the patients. This study very well could lead to a change in medical practices where doctors are required to check the vitamin D levels of the patients they want to recommend for spinal-fusion surgery. This would ensure that the patient has enough vitamin D in their system to help with the new bone growth and prevent possible complications later down the road. The need to check the vitamin D levels of the patient is heightened for those that are obese, have diabetes, have a history of smoking, or are over the age of 55. It also raises questions about what vitamin D does for your overall spinal health. Could increasing your vitamin D intake help prevent the need for severe spinal surgeries like spinal-fusion later down the road? There’s still more research to be done, but the discovery is enough to spark the inquisitive minds of our society and inspire further research.
While this study may not seem as flashy as others that are deemed as significant breakthroughs, the discovery of a potential link between vitamin D and your overall spinal health is not only fascinating but could also lead to new ideas on how to prevent spinal issues or injuries from occurring. The research found could change the way we view and treat spinal injuries and concerns and even prevent them from happening in the first place.