Eirik Mikkelsen, Tor Ingebrigtsen, Anette M. Thyrhaug, Lena Ringstad Olsen, Øystein P. Nygaard, Ivar Austevoll, Jens Ivar Brox, Christian Hellum, Frode Kolstad, Greger Lønne, Tore K. Solberg

September 2023, pp 1 - 18 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07929-5

First Online: 17 September 2023


To review and describe the development, methods and cohort of the lumbosacral part of the Norwegian registry for spine surgery (NORspine).


NORspine was established in 2007. It is government funded, covers all providers and captures consecutive cases undergoing operations for degenerative disorders. Patients’ participation is voluntary and requires informed consent. A set of baseline-, process- and outcome-variables (3 and 12 months) recommended by the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement is reported by surgeons and patients. The main outcome is the Oswestry disability index (ODI) at 12 months.


We show satisfactory data quality assessed by completeness, timeliness, accuracy, relevance and comparability. The coverage rate has been 100% since 2016 and the capture rate has increased to 74% in 2021. The cohort consists of 60,647 (47.6% women) cases with mean age 55.7 years, registered during the years 2007 through 2021. The proportions > 70 years and with an American Society of Anaesthesiologists’ Physical Classification System (ASA) score > II has increased gradually to 26.1% and 19.3%, respectively. Mean ODI at baseline was 43.0 (standard deviation 17.3). Most cases were operated with decompression for disc herniation (n = 26,557, 43.8%) or spinal stenosis (n = 26,545, 43.8%), and 7417 (12.2%) with additional or primary fusion. The response rate at 12 months follow-up was 71.6%.


NORspine is a well-designed population-based comprehensive national clinical quality registry. The register’s methods ensure appropriate data for quality surveillance and improvement, and research.

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