Femoral nerve blocks are effective for post-operative pain control after hip arthroscopy

YOUM, T; Ward, J; Albert, D; Altman, R; Rosenberg, A; Cuff, G; Goldstein, R Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy 2012 June 2012;28(6):e69-e69

SUMMARY By all criteria studied (quality of pain relief, length of stay in the PACU, side effects and patient satisfaction), a femoral nerve block is an excellent alternative to routine narcotic pain medication in patients undergoing hip arthroscopy. DATA Purpose: To evaluate the utility of femoral nerve blocks in post-operative pain control after hip arthroscopy. Methods: Forty consecutive patients scheduled for hip arthroscopy were randomized into two groups for postoperative pain control. Half were to receive routine intravenous narcotics for pain scores of seven or above in the PACU, the other half were to receive a femoral nerve block in the PACU for the same pain scores. Data was compared with respect to patient sex, age, nausea, overall satisfaction with analgesia, and duration of time in the PACU. Results: Thirty-six patients had initial pain scores of seven or greater. Sixteen were randomized to receive post-operative morphine, and twenty to receive a femoral nerve block. There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to sex or age of the patients. Patients who received morphine had a significantly longer time to discharge from the PACU (216 mins) than the femoral nerve block group (177 mins). The morphine group was also significantly more likely to report post-operative nausea (75%) than the femoral nerve block group (10%). Patients receiving femoral nerve blocks were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their post-operative pain control (90%) than those who had received morphine (25%). All of the patients receiving femoral nerve block stated that they would have the block again if they needed another hip arthroscopy.

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