Background and Objectives This prospective study compared the efficacy and adverse effects after knee surgery of ropivacaine 0.2% administered as patient-controlled femoral analgesia (PCFA), as a continuous femoral infusion (Inf), or as both (PCFA+Inf).
Methods Before general anesthesia, 140 adults scheduled to undergo major knee surgery received a sciatic/fascia iliaca nerve block with 0.75% ropivacaine (40 mL). After surgery, they were randomly assigned to receive, through the femoral catheter, an infusion of 0.2% ropivacaine administered as PCFA (boluses of 10 mL with a lockout time of 60 minutes), Inf (10 mL/h), or PCFA + Inf (5 mL/h plus boluses of 5 mL with a lockout time of 60 minutes). Pain was assessed at rest, on mobilization, and during physiotherapy using a visual analog scale (VAS). Additional use of intravenous (IV) analgesics was noted.
Results Patients in all 3 groups experienced similar pain relief at rest, on mobilization, and after physiotherapy (P > .05). Additional use of analgesics and overall patient satisfaction (excellent or good in 80% of cases) were also similar in all groups. However, total postoperative ropivacaine consumption was lower in the PCFA group, 150 mL/48 h (90.5 to 210); than in the Inf group, 480 mL/48 h (478 to 480); and the PCFA + Inf group, 310 mL/48 h (280 to 340) (P < .05). Adverse events were similar in all 3 groups (hypotension, vomiting, insomnia). No paresthesia or motor block were observed.
Conclusion All 3 strategies provided effective pain relief. PCFA resulted in a lower consumption of ropivacaine (toxic and financial impact). PCFA + Inf does not improve postoperative analgesia.
- Pain relief
- Local anesthetics
- Peripheral nerve block
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Supported by AstraZeneca, Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France.
Presented in part at the French Annual Meeting of Société Française Anesthésie Reanimation, Paris, France, September 20-23, 2001, and at the Annual Meeting of European Society of Anesthesiologists, Nice, France, April 6-9, 2002.