Purpose: To explore risk profiles of patients scheduled for lumbar spinal fusion (LSF) and their association with short-term recovery of patient after surgery. Methods: Forty-nine patients scheduled for elective 1–3 level LSF between March 2019 and June 2020 were included. Patients underwent a preoperative risk screening, consisting of an anamnesis, questionnaires and physical performance tests. A latent profile analysis (LPA) was used to identify possible risk profiles within this population. Results: Two risk profiles could be established: a fit and deconditioned risk profile. A significant between-profile difference was found in smoking status (p = 0.007), RAND36-PCS (p < 0.001), Timed Up and Go (TUG) (p < 0.001), de Morton Morbidity Index (DEMMI) (p < 0.001), finger floor distance (p = 0.050), motor control (p = 0.020) and steep ramp test (p = 0.005). Moreover, the fit risk profile had a significant shorter time to functional recovery (3.65 days versus 4.89 days, p = 0.013) and length of hospital stay (5.06 days versus 6.00 days, p = 0.008) compared to the deconditioned risk profile. No differences in complication rates between both risk profiles could be established. Allocation to a risk profile was associated with the functional recovery rate (p = 0.042), but not with LOS or complications. Conclusion: This study found a fit and deconditioned risk profile. The patients with a fit risk profile perceived a better quality of life, performed better in mobility, motor control, cardiopulmonary tests and showed also a significant shorter stay in the hospital and a shorter time to functional recovery. Preoperatively establishing a patient’s risk profile could aid in perioperative care planning and preoperative decision-making.
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