The postoperative pain relief after a small dose (0.3 mg) of morphine or placebo injected intrathecally together with plain 0.75% bupivacaine (20 mg) for major hip surgery, was evaluated in a double blind study. It was found that in 17 patients of 23 belonging to the morphine group, there was no pain or only mild pain in the postoperative period and did not require any administration of analgesia. In the placebo group, all patients had marked pain experience and required an analgesic in the postoperative period. Complications due to the administration of morphine intrathecally included itching in two of 23 cases, as well as slow breathing in one case (7 breaths/min). This was eliminated by the injection of a small dose of naloxone.
- Postoperative pain evaluation
- Major hip surgery
- Intrathecal injection
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Address reprint requests to Dr. Bengtsson: Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.