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Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Sep;95(36):e4771. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004771.

Femoral nerve block for patient undergoing total knee arthroplasty: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded study evaluating analgesic effect of perineural fentanyl additive to local anesthetics.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Chonnam National University, Medical School, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.



The existence of peripheral opioid receptors and its effectiveness in peripheral nerve block remain controversial. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double-blinded study was to examine the analgesic effects of adding fentanyl to ropivacaine for continuous femoral nerve block (CFNB) using patient-controlled analgesia after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


The patients were divided into 2 groups, each with n = 40 in ropivacaine (R) group and n = 42 in R with fentanyl (R + F) group. After operation, the patients in each group received R + F and R alone via a femoral nerve catheter, respectively. We assessed the visual analog scale (VAS) pain immediately before administration (baseline) and at 15, 30, and 60 minutes on postanesthesia care unit (PACU), and resting and ambulatory VAS score up to 24 hours.


Overall, the average VAS scores in the R + F group were slightly lower than those of the R group. However, the VAS score differences between groups were not statistically significant, except for 30 minutes (P = 0.009) in PACU. R group showed higher supplemental analgesics consumption in average compared with R + F group, but not significant.


Additional fentanyl did not show prominent enhancement of analgesic effect in the field of CFNB after TKA.

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