Department of  Neurosurgery
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Spine Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program at Washington University

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.

ERAS Program: Conditions Treated

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

ERAS Program: Multidisciplinary Approach

All of our patients receive a multidisciplinary approach to spine care from their initial evaluation through their entire treatment course. Each patient is carefully and compassionately evaluated and all non-operative treatment measures are exhausted. Each patient will receive precision medicine in a multi-disciplinary patient-centered treatment program: 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.

ERAS Program: Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery

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

ERAS Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery Program: Surgical Outcomes
For patients who qualify, minimally-invasive surgery (MIS) accomplishes all the goals of surgery with lower blood loss, less narcotic use, shorter hospital stay (1 versus 8 days) and more rapid return to an active lifestyle.

 

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.

Neurosurgery Providers

Ammar Hawasli MD, PhD
Wilson Zachary Ray, MD
Ian Dorward, MD
Paul Santiago, MD
Neill M. Wright, MD

Highlights

 900 cervical patients are seen per year