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Orthopedics. 2011 Mar 11;34(3):173. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20110124-11.

Local infiltration analgesia in TKA patients reduces length of stay and postoperative pain scores.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.


Numerous postoperative pain protocols exist for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We compared the length of stay, early range of motion (ROM), and pain scores of a control group with a femoral nerve block to those of a group with femoral nerve block and local infiltration analgesia following TKA. In a consecutive series of patients undergoing primary TKA at a Veteran's Administration hospital, 40 patients (40 TKAs) who had local infiltration analgesia were compared to a historical group of 43 patients (43 TKAs) who had a long-acting femoral nerve block without local infiltration analgesia. Local infiltration analgesia consisted of intraoperative injection of 150 mL of 300 mg ropivacaine, 30 mg ketorolac, and 500 μg epinephrine using 50 mL into each of 3 areas: (1) posterior capsule, (2) medial and lateral capsule, and (3) anterior capsule and subcutaneous tissues. A 17-gauge intra-articular catheter was used to inject an additional 100 mg of ropivacaine on postoperative day 1. The control group had a single-shot femoral nerve block using 150 mg of ropivacaine with epinephrine. Mean length of stay for the local infiltration analgesia group compared to controls was 3.2±1.4 days vs 3.8±1.6 days, respectively (P=.03). No significant differences existed in average ROM (6 weeks), discharge hematocrit, transfusions, and temperature. Mean pain scores were lower in the local infiltration analgesia group on postoperative day 1 (P=.04), but not on postoperative day 2 or 3. Maximum visual analog scale scores (P<.01) were reduced in the local infiltration analgesia group. Our early experience with local infiltration analgesia demonstrated a significantly reduced length of stay due to decreased postoperative pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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