Background: Sciatic perineural catheters via a popliteal fossa approach and subsequent local anesthetic infusion provide potent analgesia and other benefits after foot and ankle surgery. Electrical stimulation (ES) and, more recently, ultrasound (US)-guided placement techniques have been described. However, because these techniques have not been compared in a randomized fashion, the optimal method remains undetermined. Therefore, we tested the hypotheses that popliteal-sciatic perineural catheters placed via US guidance require less time for placement and produce equivalent results, as compared with catheters placed using ES.
Methods: Preoperatively, subjects receiving a popliteal-sciatic perineural catheter for foot and/or ankle surgery were randomly assigned to either the ES with a stimulating catheter or US-guided technique with a nonstimulating catheter. The primary end point was catheter insertion duration (in minutes) starting when the US transducer (US group) or catheter-placement needle (ES group) first touched the patient and ending when the catheter-placement needle was removed after catheter insertion.
Results: All US-guided catheters were placed per protocol (n = 20), whereas only 80% of stimulation-guided catheters could be placed per protocol (n = 20, P = 0.106). All catheters placed per protocol in both groups resulted in a successful surgical block. Perineural catheters placed by US took a median (10th-90th percentile) of 5.0 min (3.9-11.1 min) compared with 10.0 min (2.0-15.0 min) for stimulation (P = 0.034). Subjects in the US group experienced less pain during catheter placement, scoring discomfort a median of 0 (0.0-2.1) compared with 2.0 (0.0-5.0) for the stimulation group (P = 0.005) on a numeric rating scale of 0 to 10.
Conclusions: Placement of popliteal-sciatic perineural catheters takes less time and produces less procedure-related discomfort when using US guidance compared with ES.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Reprints will not be available from the authors.
Funding for this project was provided by National Institutes of Health grant GM077026 (principal investigator: Dr. Ilfeld) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (Bethesda, Md) and the Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego Medical Center (San Diego, Calif).
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.