The Collateral Effect of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocols on Spine Patients With Neuromuscular Scoliosis


INTRODUCTION: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols are often specific to a specific type of surgery without assessing the overall effect on the ward. Previous studies have demonstrated reduced length of stay (LOS) with ERAS protocols in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), although the patients are often healthy and with few or no comorbidities. In 2018, we used ERAS principles for patients undergoing AIS surgery with a subsequent 40% reduced LOS. The current study aims to assess the potential collateral effect of LOS in patients surgically treated for neuromuscular scoliosis admitted to the same ward and treated by the same staff but without a standardized ERAS protocol.

METHODS: All patients undergoing neuromuscular surgery 2 years before and after ERAS introduction (AIS patients) with a gross motor function classification score of 4 to 5 were included. LOS, intensive care stay, and postoperative complications were recorded. After discharge, all complications leading to readmission and mortality were noted with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up using a nationwide registry.

RESULTS: Forty-six patients were included; 20 pre-ERAS and 26 post-ERAS. Cross groups, there were no differences in diagnosis, preoperative curve size, pulmonary or cardiac comorbidities, weight, sex, or age. Postoperative care in the intensive care unit was unchanged between the two groups (1.2 vs 1.1; P = 0.298). When comparing LOS, we found a 41% reduction in the post-ERAS group (11 vs 6.5; P < 0.001) whereas the 90-day readmission rates were without any significant difference (45% vs 34% P = 0.22) We found no difference in the 2-year mortality in either group.

CONCLUSION: The employment of ERAS principles in a relatively uncomplicated patient group had a positive, collateral effect on more complex patients treated in the same ward. We believe that training involving the caregiving staff is equally important as pharmacological protocols.

TidsskriftJournal of pediatric orthopedics
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)e476-e480
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2023


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