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Anesthesiology. 2005 Feb;102(2):392-7.

Continuous infusion of ropivacaine for pain relief after iliac crest bone grafting for shoulder surgery.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Orthopedic University Clinic Balgrist, Zurich, Switzerland.



The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of either ropivacaine or placebo through an iliac crest (IC) catheter after Bankart repair with IC bone grafting.


With approval of the local ethics committee and after written informed consent was obtained, 36 patients had an interscalene catheter placed preoperatively. Intraoperatively, the surgeon placed a catheter at the IC donor site. At the end of surgery, 30 ml ropivacaine, 0.5% (ropivacaine group), or 30 ml NaCl, 0.9% (placebo group), was administered. Ropivacaine, 0.2%, was started 6 h after the initial block through the interscalene catheter for 48 h (t48) in all patients. At t0, the patient received either 5 ml/h ropivacaine, 0.2% (ropivacaine group), or 5 ml/h NaCl, 0.9% (placebo group), for 48 h through the IC catheter. All patients received an intravenous morphine patient-controlled analgesia device. Pain scores at the shoulder and at the IC donor site were assessed at rest and during motion every 8 h for 48 h and after 3 months. Plasma concentrations of total and unbound ropivacaine, morphine consumption, and patient satisfaction were assessed.


At the IC donor site, pain was significantly lower in the ropivacaine group compared with the placebo group at rest and during motion at any time. Total and unbound plasma concentrations of ropivacaine were below the toxic threshold in both groups. Morphine consumption was significantly lower in the ropivacaine group after 24 and 48 h. Patient satisfaction was significantly higher in the ropivacaine group. At 3 months, pain at the IC during motion was significantly lower in the ropivacaine group.


Continuous application of 0.2% ropivacaine through an IC catheter after Bankart repair with IC bone grafting is an effective method for pain relief for the first 48 h, with few adverse effects and high patient satisfaction. The benefit of this technique is still present after 3 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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