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Lakartidningen. 2004 Jun 10;101(24):2104-7.

[Femoral nerve block as pain relief in hip fracture. A good alternative in perioperative treatment proved by a prospective study].

[Article in Swedish]

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Ortopedkliniken, Blekingesjukhuset, Karlshamn, Sweden.


Almost 25% of all patients with hip fracture experience temporary confusion pre- and directly postoperatively due to trauma, advanced age, transport between units, and the use of analgesics, 35-50% of the patients suffer temporary or chronic decubitus. Analgesics often lead to nausea. A femoral nerve block can interrupt sensory impulses from the hip joint and provide complete pain relief without affecting the CNS, thus making preoperative care easier and postoperative rehabilitation can be started earlier. 80 consecutive patients with hip fracture were randomized to femoral nerve block or pharmacological treatment only. Paracetamol and tramadol were the standard analgesics used. All patients were followed up with regard to pain, duration of the block, number of analgesics doses, temporary confusion and time for postoperative mobilization. Pain was estimated by the patients using the visual analogue scale (VAS). A nerve block was performed to block the femoral nerve, the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve and the obturator nerve with 30 ml of ropivacaine 7.5 mg/ml. Mental status was evaluated with Pfeiffer-test. All patients experienced relatively intense pain on admission with an average VAS of 6. After nerve block the VAS was 2. Pain relief was the same in the control group. Pain relief was sustained for 15 hours. The time for mobilization after surgery was significantly lower, 23 hours compared to 36 for the control group. There was a lower number of patients temporarily confused in the block group compared to the control group, however no significant differences were seen. Femoral nerve block provides adequate pain relief, equivalent to pharmacological treatment in most patients. The time for postoperative mobilization was shorter and less temporary confusion was seen. There were no complications in this group, making nerve block a good alternative to traditional pharmacological preoperative treatment for patients with hip fractures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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