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Combined Lumbar and Sacral Plexus Block Compared with Plain Bupivacaine Spinal Anesthesia for Hip Fractures in the Elderly
  1. Vincent de Visme, M.D.,
  2. François Picart, M.D.,
  3. Richard Le Jouan, M.D.,
  4. Annie Legrand, M.D.,
  5. Christophe Savry, M.D. and
  6. Vincent Morin, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesia, Centre Hospitalier de Cornouaille (V.dV.), Quimper; the Department of Anesthesia and Orthopaedics, Hôpital La Cavale Blanche (F.P., R.LJ, A.L., C.S.), Brest; and the Department of Medical Statistics, Faculté de Médecine de Brest (V.M.), Brest, France
  1. Reprint requests: Vincent de Visme, M.D., Department of Anesthesia, Centre Hospitalier de Cornouaille, B.P. 520-29107, Quimper Cedex, France.


Background and Objectives This prospective randomized study was designed to determine the hemodynamic effects and quality of combined lumbar and sacral plexus block compared with plain bupivacaine spinal anesthesia in the elderly for repair of proximal femoral fractures.

Methods Twenty-nine elderly patients ranging in age from 68 to 97 years were randomly assigned to 2 groups: a spinal anesthesia group with single-shot 3 mL 0.5% plain bupivacaine, and a combined block group with 30 mL lidocaine 1.33% with epinephrine for the posterior lumbar plexus block and 10 mL same mixture for the parasacral block and an iliac crest block with 5 mL lidocaine 1%.

Results No need for general anesthesia was encountered in either group. Anesthesia was judged unsatisfactory in 1 of 15 patients in the combined block group. The initial decrease of mean arterial pressure was 38% in the spinal group and 27% in the block group and was not significantly different. A more prolonged hemodynamic effect was found in the spinal group, indicated by the more frequent use of ephedrine to stabilize blood pressure (P < .05). Patients over 85 years had a significantly larger decrease in blood pressure than younger patients (P < .01).

Conclusions Plain bupivacaine spinal anesthesia and combined lumbar/sacral plexus block provided adequate anesthesia for repair of hip fracture in the elderly. Hypotension was induced by both the combined peripheral nerve block and plain bupivacaine spinal anesthesia in aged patients; hypotension was found to be longer lasting after spinal anesthesia and of a larger magnitude in patients over 85 years of age.

  • Aged
  • Hip fracture
  • Spinal anesthesia
  • Parasacral sciatic nerve block
  • Lumbar plexus block
  • Hemodynamic effect

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