Spine Surgery Linked With Improved Sex?

Surgery for degenerative spine disease not only improves low back pain but may also improve a patient’s sex life as well, according to a study presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Patrick Horst, MD, of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues found that through four years of follow up, only 15 to 20%  of patients who underwent surgery reported pain with their sexual activity, while around 40% of patients treated non-operatively reported having pain.

“The fact that sex life is relevant to 70% of patients in our study with degenerative spine disease is interesting and has never been reported in this large a series,” Horst said. “We also found it interesting that over 40% of patients report some level of pain related to their sex life at baseline.”

“This study sheds light on the fact that sex life is an important consideration for patients with degenerative spine disease,” Horst added. “It provides the surgeon with some evidence that low back pain is relevant to sexual function and that questions regarding improvement of sexual dysfunction can be addressed.”


1. Horst P, et al. Paper 214. Presented at:American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. March 24 to 28, 2015; Las Vegas