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Am J Sports Med. 2018 Nov;46(13):3288-3298. doi: 10.1177/0363546517734518. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Pain Management After Hip Arthroscopy: Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials and Cohort Studies.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
University of Texas Southwestern, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dallas, Texas, USA.



Hip arthroscopy is often associated with significant postoperative pain and opioid-associated side effects. Effective pain management after hip arthroscopy improves patient recovery and satisfaction and decreases opioid-related complications.


To collect, examine, and provide a comprehensive review of the available evidence from randomized controlled trials and comparative studies on pain control after hip arthroscopy.


Systematic review.


Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines, a systematic review of the literature for postoperative pain control after hip arthroscopy was performed using electronic databases. Only comparative clinical studies with level 1 to 3 evidence comparing a method of postoperative pain control with other modalities or placebo were included in this review. Case series and studies without a comparative cohort were excluded.


Several methods of pain management have been described for hip arthroscopy. A total of 14 studies met our inclusion criteria: 3 on femoral nerve block, 3 on lumbar plexus block, 3 on fascia iliaca block, 4 on intra-articular injections, 2 on soft tissue surrounding surgical site injection, and 2 on celecoxib (4 studies compared 2 or more methods of analgesia). The heterogeneity of the studies did not allow for pooling of data. Single-injection femoral nerve blocks and lumbar plexus blocks provided improved analgesia, but increased fall rates were observed. Fascia iliaca blocks do not provide adequate pain relief when compared with surgical site infiltration with local anesthetic and are associated with increased risk of cutaneous nerve deficits. Patients receiving lumbar plexus block experienced significantly decreased pain compared with fascia iliaca block. Portal site and periacetabular injections provide superior analgesia compared with intra-articular injections alone. Preoperative oral celecoxib, compared with placebo, resulted in earlier time to discharge and provided significant pain relief up to 24 hours.


Perioperative nerve blocks provide effective pain management after hip arthroscopy but must be used with caution to decrease risk of falls. Intra-articular and portal site injections with local anesthetics and preoperative celecoxib can decrease opioid consumption. There is a lack of high-quality evidence on this topic, and further research is needed to determine the best approach to manage postoperative pain and optimize patient satisfaction.


hip arthroscopy; intra-articular injection; pain management; regional nerve block


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