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Anaesthesia. 2005 Dec;60(12):1189-202.

A procedure-specific systematic review and consensus recommendations for analgesia after total hip replacement.

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  • 1Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Department of Anaesthesia, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, Worcestershire, UK.


Total hip replacement is a major surgical procedure usually associated with significant pain in the early postoperative period. Several anaesthetic and analgesic techniques are in common clinical use for this procedure but, to date, clinical studies of pain after total hip replacement have not been systematically assessed. Using the Cochrane protocol, we have conducted a systematic review of analgesic, anaesthetic and surgical interventions affecting postoperative pain after total hip replacement. In addition to the review, transferable evidence from other relevant procedures and clinical practice observations collated by the Delphi method were used to develop evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of postoperative pain. For primary total hip replacement, PROSPECT recommends either general anaesthesia combined with a peripheral nerve block that is continued after surgery or an intrathecal (spinal) injection of local anaesthetic and opioid. The primary analgesic technique should be combined with a step-down approach using paracetamol plus conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with strong or weak opioids as required.

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