Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy July 2019, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 2368–2374

Additional benefit of local infiltration of analgesia to femoral nerve block in total knee arthroplasty: double-blind randomized control study

Aso, K., Izumi, M., Sugimura, N. et al.
Knee

Purpose

Multimodal analgesia has become an important concept in current pain management following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, controversy remains over what is the most accepted combination. In this study, the additional benefits of local infiltration of analgesia to femoral nerve block were evaluated.

 

Methods

Forty patients were randomly allocated into a combined local infiltration of analgesia and femoral nerve block or femoral nerve block alone group. In the former, analgesic drugs consisting of ropivacaine and dexamethasone were injected into the peri-articular tissues, while the same amount of saline was injected into the femoral nerve block group. The primary outcome measure was the total amount of fentanyl consumption by the patient-controlled analgesia pump during the 48-h post-operative period.

 

Results

A combination of local infiltration of analgesia and femoral nerve block had less total fentanyl consumption and a larger knee ROM at post-operative day 2 than femoral nerve block alone (p < 0.05). C-reactive protein levels in the combined treatment group were significantly lower than the femoral nerve block group at post-operative day 3 (p < 0.01). There was no difference between the two groups, post-operatively, on the visual analogue scale for pain at rest or while walking, quadriceps strength, timed up and go test, circumference of thigh, Knee Society Score, and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.

 

Conclusion

The addition of local infiltration of analgesia to femoral nerve block promoted post-operative pain relief and the recovery of knee ROM in the early post-operative period. This combination is an effective method for post-operative pain management after TKA.

 

Level of evidence

Randomized controlled trial, Level I.


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