Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (2): 109-116.doi: 10.24920/004154

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Association Between Constipation and a Reduction in Lower Limb Muscle Strength in Preoperative Patients with Thoracic Spinal Tumors

Yong Liu*(), Si-Yuan Yao, Xi Zhou, Shu-Zhong Liu, Yan-Yan Bian   

  1. Department of Orthopedics, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China
  • Received:2022-08-11 Accepted:2023-01-13 Published:2023-06-30 Online:2023-04-04
  • Contact: *86-10-69152200, E-mail:

Objective To investigate the clinical symptoms experienced by patients with thoracic spinal tumors and verify the associated symptoms that are predictive of a decline in muscle strength in the lower limbs.

Methods A single-center, retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted on in-patients diagnosed with epidural thoracic spinal tumors between January 2011 and May 2021. The study involved a review of electronic medical records and radiographs and the collection of clinical data. The differences in clinical manifestations between patients with constipation and those without constipation were analyzed. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors associated with a decline in muscle strength in the lower limbs.

Results A total of 227 patients were enrolled, including 131 patients with constipation and 96 without constipation. The constipation group had a significantly higher proportion of patients who experienced difficulty walking or paralysis compared to those without constipation prior to surgery (83.2% vs. 17.7%, χ2 = 99.035,P < 0.001). Constipation (OR = 9.522, 95%CI: 4.150-21.849, P < 0.001) and urinary retention (OR = 14.490, 95%CI: 4.543-46.213, P < 0.001) were independent risk factors for muscle strength decline in the lower limbs.

Conclusions The study observed that patients with thoracic spinal tumors who experienced constipation symptoms had a higher incidence of lower limb weakness. Moreover, the analysis revealed that constipation and urinary retention were independent risk factors associated with a preoperative decline in muscle strength of lower limbs.

Key words: constipation, thoracic spinal tumors, muscle strength decline, preoperation, surgical intervention

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