Fast tracking lumbar fusion: reducing costs with an ERAS program for minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

Stephen G. Bowden, Khoi D. Than


More than 298,000 lumbar fusion surgeries are performed each year, with an estimated cost of $11 billion in the United States alone (1). With the introduction and refinement of the minimally invasive surgical transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF), the past 15 years have seen significant advancement in reducing the morbidity of these procedures (2). In addition to greater safety, the minimally invasive approach offers earlier mobilization, return to daily life, and reduced cost over open TLIF (3). More recently, focus has turned to safely streamlining these operations by making protocol adjustments in either the pre-, intra-, or post-operative windows.