This study sought to determine the impact of time to surgery on clinical outcomes in patients with spondylolisthesis in the workers’ compensation (WC) population. There is conflicting evidence regarding the effect of time to surgery on patients with spondylolisthesis. Patients receiving WC are known to have worse outcomes following spine surgery compared with the general population. A total of 791 patients from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation were identified who underwent lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis between 1993 and 2013. The patients were divided into those who had surgery within 2 years of injury date and after 2 years. Confounding factors were corrected for in a multivariate logistic regression to determine predictors of return to work (RTW) status. Multivariate logistic regression determined that longer time to surgery (P=.003; odds ratio, 0.89 per year), age at index fusion (P=.003; odds ratio, 0.98 per year), and use of physical therapy before fusion (P=.008; odds ratio, 0.54) were negative predictors of RTW status. Patients who had surgery within 2 years were more likely to RTW and have fewer days absent from work, lower medical costs, and fewer sessions of psychotherapy, physical therapy, and chiropractor care. The authors demonstrated that for WC patients with spondylolisthesis, longer time to surgery was a negative predictor of RTW status. Patients who had surgery within 2 years of injury date were significantly more likely to RTW compared with after 2 years. [Orthopedics. 2020;43(x):xx-xx.].
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