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Anesth Analg. 2016 Aug;123(2):501-3. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000001441.

Interfascial Spread of Injectate After Adductor Canal Injection in Fresh Human Cadavers.

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From the *Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Liege University Hospital, Liege, Belgium; †Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Hospital Saint-Joseph, Liege, Belgium; ‡Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; §Department of Anesthesiology, Clinique Ste Anne-St Remi, CHIREC, Brussels, Belgium; ‖Department of Anatomy, Liege University Hospital, Liege, Belgium; and ¶Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Multidisciplinary Pain Center, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk, Belgium.


The adductor canal block has become a common analgesic technique in patients undergoing knee arthroplasty. Dispersion of local anesthetic outside the adductor canal through interfascial layers and blockade of smaller nerves that confer innervation to the knee could contribute to the analgesic efficacy of the adductor canal block. We studied the diffusion of local anesthetic mixed with dye after injection into the adductor canal in fresh human cadavers. In all 8 legs, injectate was found in the popliteal fossa in contact with the sciatic nerve and/or popliteal blood vessels. Interfascial spread patterns were identified.

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