National In-Hospital Morbidity and Mortality Trends After Lumbar Fusion Surgery Between 1998 and 2008

Studying trends in perioperative outcomes in spine surgical patients the authors found that mean patient age and comorbidity burden increased along with significant increases in peri-operative complications including pulmonary and cardiac. These trends highlight the need for appropriate peri-operative services to optimize outcomes in an increasingly morbid and older population of patients undergoing lumbar fusion.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22371544