Conclusions: Statistically significant gains in early recovery were achieved by an enhanced recovery pathway. However, significant clinical impact was not demonstrated.
What We Already Know about This Topic:
Recovery from surgery may be improved by optimizing pre-, intra-, and postoperative management.
Enhanced recovery pathways involving spine surgery have scarcely been evaluated.
What This Article Tells Us That Is New:
Use of an enhanced recovery pathway for patients undergoing one- or two-level lumbar spinal fusion was associated with higher (better) Quality of Recovery-40 scores 3 days after surgery. This difference was not deemed clinically significant, however.
Several secondary endpoints including time to oral intake, duration of patient-controlled analgesia use, and day 1 opioid consumption were improved by use of the enhanced recovery pathway.
Further refinement of enhanced recovery strategies for spinal surgery is required.