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Anesth Analg. 2019 Apr 9. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004172. [Epub ahead of print]

Chemical Hip Denervation for Inoperable Hip Fracture.

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From the Pain Management Unit, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong.
Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Department of Anesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong.



Hip fracture is a challenging geriatric problem for the health care professionals, especially in patients with multiple comorbidities. In patients with inoperable hip fracture secondary to severe comorbid conditions, the pain can lead to significant challenges in nursing care. With the current understanding of the innervation of hip joint, we are now able to perform selective chemical denervation of the articular branches of femoral and obturator nerves to manage the pain associated with inoperable hip fracture.


In this retrospective case series, we analyzed 20 consecutive patients with inoperable hip fracture who received chemical denervation and examined the effect of the denervation on pain and functional outcomes, including the maximally tolerable hip flexion and the ability to sit during their hospital stay. We also assessed the likelihood of being ambulatory as a long-term outcome.


The movement-related pain was significantly reduced at 10 minutes postprocedure, on postintervention days 1 and 5 (P values of <.001), and the degree of maximally tolerable hip flexion was doubled at the same time points (P values of <.001, .003, and .002, respectively). Fifty percent of the patients managed to sit within the first 5 days after procedure, and 3 of them managed to walk with aid 4 months after hip denervation. No procedural adverse event was noted.


We concluded that this chemical hip denervation could be a safe and effective measure to handle the pain-related and rehabilitation-related challenges as a result of inoperable hip fracture.

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