Elective spine surgery with continuation of clopidogrel anti-platelet therapy: Experiences from the community

Academic Article


  • Purpose: This retrospective study aimed to assess the feasibility of continuing clopidogrel therapy during the perioperative period in elective cervical and thoracolumbar surgery. Methods: After IRB approval, medical records of patients requiring one or two-level surgery over a two-year period (2015–2017) while receiving clopidogrel were reviewed for relevant outcomes. Over the same period, a control group of patients not receiving clopidogrel perioperatively was formed. Result: In total, 136 patients were included: 37 clopidogrel and 99 control, with a mean age of 64.8 years. Between clopidogrel and control respectively, operative time was 86.7 min and 86.7 min (p = 0.620); blood loss was 127.0 cc and 117.5 cc (p = 0.480); drain output was 171.2 cc and 190.7 cc (p = 0.354); length of stay was 1.8 days and 1.5 days (p = 0.103). Two clopidogrel patients and 1 control patient had complications. Two clopidogrel patients and 1 control patient were readmitted within 30 days. Conclusions: Remaining on clopidogrel therapy during elective spine surgery results in no difference in operative time, blood loss, drain output, length of stay, or readmission. Precaution should be taken in cervical procedures as the drain output in clopidogrel patients was increased and complications in this region can be severe.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Prather JC; Montgomery TP; Crowther D; McGwin G; Ghavam C; Theiss SM
  • Start Page

  • 928
  • End Page

  • 931
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 5