Spine Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Washington University spinal neurosurgeons specialize in the treatment of the entire range of spinal disorders, extending from the skull to the sacrum. From rare to commonplace conditions, our fellowship-trained and board-certified surgeons are uniquely qualified to treat spine diseases. 

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery refers to advanced surgical techniques that minimize tissue and muscle disruption.  Through the use of specialized instrumentation, intraoperative navigation, advanced robotics, and microsurgical techniques, our surgeons are able to perform many common spinal procedures through very small incisions. These techniques lead to more rapid recovery, shorter hospital stays (often < 24 hours), less pain, lower complication rates, and faster return to work.

Washington University Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program for Spine Surgery

The ERAS program for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is designed for patients who are motivated to return to a higher quality of life with emphasis on patient education, patient rehabilitation, short hospitalization, and rapid return to work.  By optimizing patient attributes, pathology, rehabilitation and minimally-invasive spine surgery, many patients are candidates for less invasive procedures.

The ERAS program is the fast recovery program for patients who have had minimally invasive surgery, are highly motivated, and committed to rehabilitation.

The ERAS program offers:

  • Comprehensive patient-centered medical and surgical plan
  • Prehabilitation
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Rapid post-operative mobilization
  • Same-day surgery or short-stay hospitalization
  • Rapid return to work

Conditions treated through our ERAS program

Novel procedures have been developed to treat:

  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Herniated discs (cervical, thoracic, lumbar)
  • Spondylosis
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Radiculopathy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebra)
  • Synovial cysts
  • Spinal deformity
  • Tumors of the Spine and Spinal Cord


Multidisciplinary Approach

All of our patients receive a multidisciplinary approach to spine care from their initial evaluation through their entire treatment course. Each patient’s condition is carefully and compassionately evaluated and all non-operative treatment measures are exhausted.

Each patient receives precision medicine in a multi-disciplinary patient-centered treatment program with the coordinated help of physical therapists, pain management specialists, nutritionists, bone health specialists, physiatrists, and weight loss specialists.

Once a patient has exhausted non-operative treatments, they may be selected for the ERAS Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Program. The program begins with a prehabilitaion program which includes education and pre-surgery physical therapy. The multidisciplinary surgical team may include select vascular or thoracic surgeons who have specialized training and interest in minimally invasive approaches to the spine. Post-surgery mobilization and rehabilitation will promote a rapid recovery. 

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Procedures

Our surgeons specialize in both minimally invasive and traditional open surgical procedures. Members of our Spine Division have been involved in the development of new open and minimally invasive spinal techniques.

  • Interpedicular minimal access surgery
  • Minimally-invasive lumbar fusion
  • Minimally-invasive percutaneous spinal fusions
  • Minimally-invasive thoracic fusion
  • Minimally-Invasive tubular spinal decompression
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Laminoforaminotomy
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Spinal navigation
  • Robotic spinal surgery
  • Spinal metastases laser ablation    
  • Endoscopic Spine surgery 

Surgical Outcomes

ERAS Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Program

Appointment Information
To schedule an appointment and be evaluated for the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Program for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, contact us at 314-362-3577.