Outpatient spine surgery: defining the outcomes, value, and barriers to implementation. Neurosurgical focus Pendharkar, A. V., Shahin, M. N., Ho, A. L., Sussman, E. S., Purger, D. A., Veeravagu, A., Ratliff, J. K., Desai, A. M. 2018; 44 (5): E11


Spine surgery is a key target for cost reduction within the United States health care system. One possible strategy involves the transition of inpatient surgeries to the ambulatory setting. Lumbar laminectomy with or without discectomy, lumbar fusion, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, and cervical disc arthroplasty all represent promising candidates for outpatient surgeries in select populations. In this focused review, the authors clarify the different definitions used in studies describing outpatient spine surgery. They also discuss the body of evidence supporting each of these procedures and summarize the proposed cost savings. Finally, they examine several patient- and surgeon-specific considerations to highlight the barriers in translating outpatient spine surgery into actual practice.

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