Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) for Spine Surgery: A Systematic Review

Nicholas Dietz, M. Sharma, S. Adams, A. Alhourani, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Dengzhi Wang, Miriam A Nuno, Doniel Drazin, Maxwell Boakye

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) represents an evidence-based multidisciplinary approach to perioperative management after major surgery that decreases complications and readmissions and improves functional recovery. Spine surgery is a traditionally invasive intervention with an extended recovery phase and may benefit from ERAS protocol integration. Methods: We analyzed the use of ERAS in spine surgery by completing a search using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines and the PICOS (Participants, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes, Study Design) model through PubMed and Ovid databases to identify studies that fit our search criteria. We assess the outcomes and ERAS elements selected across protocols as well as the study design and internal validation methods. Results: A total of 19 studies met the inclusion criteria and were used in our analysis. Patient populations differed significantly across all 4 studies. Reduction in length of stay was reported in 7 studies using the ERAS protocol. Comparative studies between ERAS and non-ERAS show improved pain scores and reduced opioid consumption postoperatively, but no differences in complications or readmissions between groups. Complication rates under ERAS protocols ranged from 2.0% to 31.7%. Significant pain reduction in visual analog scale scores was observed with 3 ERAS protocols. Direct, indirect, and total cost decreases were also observed with implementation of ERAS protocols. Conclusions: A limited cohort of studies with significant variability in patient population and ERAS protocol implementation have evaluated the integration of ERAS within spine surgery. ERAS in spine surgery may provide reductions in complications, readmissions, length of stay, and opioid use, in combination with improvements in patient-reported outcomes and functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Enhanced recovery after surgery
  • ERAS
  • Fast-track recovery
  • Laminectomy
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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