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Serum ropivacaine levels after local infiltration analgesia during total knee arthroplasty with and without adductor canal block
  1. Katherine L Koniuch1,
  2. Michael Jay Buys1,
  3. Blake Campbell1,
  4. Jeremy M Gililland2,
  5. Christopher E Pelt2,
  6. Nathan L Pace1 and
  7. Ken B Johnson1
  1. 1 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. 2 Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine L Koniuch, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA; kate.koniuch{at}


Background and objectives A common analgesic technique for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is to inject local anesthetic into the periarticular tissue during surgery, known as local infiltration analgesia (LIA). Since the solution used typically contains a large amount of local anesthetic, concerns arise about exceeding the maximum dosage when adding a peripheral nerve block. Little research exists that addresses serum ropivacaine concentrations following LIA combined with peripheral nerve block. We hypothesized that after combining LIA and adductor canal blockade (ACB), serum ropivacaine concentrations would remain below levels associated with local anesthetic toxicity.

Methods This was a prospective observational study that included 14 subjects undergoing TKA with intraoperative LIA containing 270 mg ropivacaine with epinephrine. Patients weighing less than 80 kg were excluded due to standardized dosing by our pharmacy. Seven patients were assigned consecutively to receive LIA alone (Group LIA) and seven were assigned to receive LIA plus ACB with 100 mg ropivacaine with epinephrine (Group LIA+ACB). Venous serum ropivacaine concentrations were measured over 24 hours.

Results Peak serum concentrations (Cmax) in Group LIA ranged from 0.23 to 0.75 µg/mL and occurred at times from 4 to 24 hours. Cmax in Group LIA+ACB ranged from 0.46 to 1.00 µg/mL and occurred at times from 4 to 8 hours. No participants demonstrated signs or symptoms of local anesthetic toxicity.

Conclusions Total serum concentration of ropivacaine after LIA using 270 mg ropivacaine with and without an additional 100 mg perineural ropivacaine remained well below the toxicity threshold of 3.0 µg/mL at all time points. Additional studies are needed to ascertain the safety of combining LIA with peripheral nerve blockade.

  • regional anesthesia
  • lower extremity
  • acute pain
  • pharmacology: local anesthetics
  • postoperative pain

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  • Presented at Interim data from this work were presented at the 2018 Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine in New York City on April 19 to 21, 2018.

  • Contributors KLK provided a substantial contribution to the conception and design of the work, the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, as well as drafting and revising the final manuscript.

  • Funding This Study supported by the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.