Implementation of an Enhanced Recovery after Spine Surgery program at a large cancer center: A preliminary analysis

Roxana M. Grasu, Juan P. Cata, Anh Q. Dang, Claudio E. Tatsui, Laurence D. Rhines, Katherine B. Hagan, Shreyas Bhavsar, Sally R. Raty, Radha Arunkumar, Yury Potylchansky, Ian Lipski, Benjamin A. Arnold, Thomas M. McHugh, Justin E. Bird, Andrea Rodriguez-Restrepo, Mike Hernandez, Keyuri U. Popat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programs follow a multimodal, multidisciplinary perioperative care approach that combines evidence-based perioperative strategies to accelerate the functional recovery process and improve surgical outcomes. Despite increasing evidence that supports the use of ERAS programs in gastrointestinal and pelvic surgery, data regarding the development of ERAS programs in spine surgery are scarce. To evaluate the impact of an Enhanced Recovery After Spine Surgery (ERSS) program in a US academic cancer center, the authors introduced such a program and hypothesized that ERSS would have a significant influence on meaningful clinical measures of postoperative recovery, such as pain management, postoperative length of stay (LOS), and complications. METHODS A multimodal, multidisciplinary, continuously evolving team approach was used to develop an ERAS program for all patients undergoing spine surgery for metastatic tumors at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from April 2015 through September 2016. This study describes the introduction of that ERSS program and compares 41 patients who participated in ERSS with a retrospective cohort of 56 patients who underwent surgery before implementation of the program. The primary objectives were to assess the effect of an ERSS program on immediate postoperative pain scores and in-hospital opioid consumption. The secondary objectives included assessing the effect of ERSS on postoperative in-hospital LOS, 30-day readmission rates, and 30-day postoperative complications. RESULTS The ERSS group showed a trend toward better pain scores and decreased opioid consumption compared with the pre-ERSS group. There were no significant differences in LOS, 30-day readmission rate, or 30-day complication rate observed between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS An ERSS program is feasible and potentially effective on perioperative pain control and opioid consumption, and can expedite recovery in oncological spine surgery patients. Larger-scale research on well-defined postoperative recovery outcomes is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-598
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Enhanced recovery
  • Length of stay
  • Opioid consumption
  • Outcomes
  • Postoperative pain
  • Spine surgery


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