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Anesth Pain Med. 2012 Spring;1(4):239-42. doi: 10.5812/aapm.3404. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Postoperative pain control for total knee arthroplasty: continuous femoral nerve block versus intravenous patient controlled analgesia.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore.



Pain after total knee arthroplasty is severe and impacts functional recovery.


We performed a retrospective study, comparing conventional patient control analgesia (PCA) modalities versus continuous femoral nerve blockade (CFNB) for 1582 post-TKA (total knee arthroplasty) patients.


Using our electronic acute pain service (APS) database, we reviewed the data of 579 patients who had received CFNBs compared with 1003 patients with intravenous PCA over 4 years.


Our results show that the incidence of a severe pain episode was higher in the PCA compared with the CFNB group. Lower pain scores were observed in the CFNB group compared with the PCA group from postoperative day (POD) 1 to 3, primarily due to lower rest pain scores in the CFNB group.


Our study shows that there is improvement in pain scores, at rest and on movement, as well as a reduction in incidence of severe pain, in patients who receive CFNB versus those who receive intravenous PCA.


Analgesia, Patient Controlled; Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee; Nerve Block

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