Study: Enhanced recovery after surgery pathway reduces the l
Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathway in spine surgery is increasingly popular which can reduce the length of hospital stay (LOS). The aim of this study was to investigate whether ERAS can reduce LOS of patients with single segment lumbar disc herniation (LDH) treated by percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal discectomy (PETD).

Researchers reviewed the outcomes of all LDH patients (L4/5) who had been treated with PETD. Quasi-experimental study was adopted between patients treated in an ERAS after PETD with those rehabilitated on a traditional pathway. The two groups were analyzed for LOS, operation time, complications, visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Dysfunction Index (ODI), hospitalization expenses (HE), and improved MacNab efficacy assessment criteria (MacNab).

--A total of 120 single segment LDH patients (ERAS pathway 60 cases, traditional care pathway 60 cases) who were selected met the inclusion criteria.

--There was a significant difference in mean LOS postoperative VAS scores and ODI on the 3rd day after surgery between the two groups.

--The incidence of complications and HE were similar in the two groups.

--The mean LOS decreased from 3.47 ± 1.14 days to 5.65 ± 1.39 days after application of ERAS pathway.

Conclusively, the ERAS pathway reduced LOS without resulting in additional complications after PETD. These findings support the application of the perioperative ERAS pathway in the treatment of single-level LDH with PETD.