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Can J Anaesth. 2001 Apr;48(4):369-74.

Spinal anesthesia improves the early recovery profile of patients undergoing ambulatory knee arthroscopy.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



We compared the recovery profiles, postoperative complications, perioperative OR utilization times, and times to discharge of patients undergoing ambulatory knee arthroscopy under spinal anesthesia (SA) or general anesthesia (GA).


In this randomized, prospective study, 84 ASA I-II patients were randomized to receive either SA with 50 mg of 1% lidocaine, or a standardized GA. Postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, sedation, OR utilization, postanesthesia care unit (PACU), and ambulatory surgical unit (ASU) recovery were compared.


Patients in the GA group had more pain in the PACU than the SA group (61% vs 15%, P <0.01), and a higher incidence of PACU analgesic use (59% vs 7.5%, P <0.01). Patients in the SA group were able to drink and eat sooner than the GA group (83 +/- 23 vs 95 +/- 22 min, P <0.05 and 88 +/- 27 vs 105 +/- 29 min, P <0.01, respectively). The times to sit, walk, and void were similar. The length of PACU and ASU stay between the GA and SA groups were similar (67 +/- 17 vs 60 +/- 19 min, P >0.05 and 122 +/- 27 vs 127.9 +/- 31 min, P >0.05, respectively). The incidence of backache was higher in the SA group (35 vs 13.6%, P <0.05) than the GA group. However, the incidence of sore throat was higher in the GA compared to the SA group (25% vs 2.5%, P <0.01).


SA with 50 mg of 1% lidocaine provides an improved recovery profile for ambulatory knee arthroscopy. Discharge times were similar, and with the exception of backache and sore throat, the incidence of complications was similar.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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