Sexual function problems in patients who underwent cervical spine surgery

Doctors at the University of California, San Francisco reported on sexual function problems in patients who underwent cervical spine surgery.

Writing in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, the UCSF researchers documented the following:

  • Sexual function is an important component of patient-focused health related quality of life.
  • In men, worse neck disability and the number of operated on cervical levels were associated with lower sexual function scores.
  • In women, higher total number of medications and pain medications were associated with lower sexual function scores.
  • 46% of patients reported difficulty performing a sexual position after surgery that they had previously enjoyed.
  • Men and women who underwent cervical spine surgery had lower sexual function scores than age-matched peers, likely attributable to general mental health, regional neck disability, back pain, and medications.
  • A large portion of patients reported subjectively worsened sexual function after surgery.1

Doctors have noted that successful treatment of cervical instability would sometimes alleviate problems of erectile dysfunction.2

1 Keefe MK, Zygourakis CC, Theologis AA, Canepa E, Shaw JD, Goldman LH. Sexual function after cervical spine surgery: Independent predictors of functional impairment. J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Feb;36:94-101. [Pubmed]

2 Fotakopoulos G, Alexiou GA, Kotlia P, Pachatouridis D, Voulgaris S. Improvement of erectile dysfunction after surgery for cervical disk herniation. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2013 Dec;74 [Pubmed]