Background This randomized trial compared pericapsular nerve group block and periarticular local anesthetic infiltration in patients undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty. We hypothesized that, compared with pericapsular nerve group block, periarticular local anesthetic infiltration would decrease the postoperative incidence of quadriceps weakness at 3 hours fivefold (ie, from 45% to 9%).
Methods Sixty patients undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty under spinal anesthesia were randomly allocated to receive a pericapsular nerve group block (n=30) using 20 mL of adrenalized bupivacaine 0.50%, or periarticular local anesthetic infiltration (n=30) using 60 mL of adrenalized bupivacaine 0.25%. Both groups also received 30 mg of ketorolac, either intravenously (pericapsular nerve group block) or periarticularly (periarticular local anesthetic infiltration), as well as 4 mg of intravenous dexamethasone.
Postoperatively, a blinded evaluator carried out sensory assessment and motor assessment (knee extension and hip adduction) at 3, 6 and 24 hours. Furthermore, the blinded observer also recorded static and dynamic pain scores at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 hours; time to first opioid request; cumulative breakthrough morphine consumption at 24 hours and 48 hours; opioid-related side effects; ability to perform physiotherapy at 6, 24 and 48 hours; as well as length of stay.
Results There were no differences in quadriceps weakness at 3 hours between pericapsular nerve group block and periarticular local anesthetic infiltration (20% vs 33%; p=0.469). Furthermore, no intergroup differences were found in terms of sensory block or motor block at other time intervals; time to first opioid request; cumulative breakthrough morphine consumption; opioid-related side effects; ability to perform physiotherapy; and length of stay. Compared with pericapsular nerve group block, periarticular local anesthetic infiltration resulted in lower static pain scores (at all measurement intervals) and dynamic pain scores (at 3 and 6 hours).
Conclusion For primary total hip arthroplasty, pericapsular nerve group block and periarticular local anesthetic infiltration result in comparable rates of quadriceps weakness. However, periarticular local anesthetic infiltration is associated with lower static pain scores (especially during the first 24 hours) and dynamic pain scores (first 6 hours). Further investigation is required to determine the optimal technique and local anesthetic admixture for periarticular local anesthetic infiltration.
Trial registration number NCT05087862.
- lower extremity
- nerve block
- anesthesia, local
- pain, postoperative
Data availability statement
Deidentified data are available on reasonable request.
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Contributors DB, JA, SL, DF, HE, GA, HA, CB, RW, SL, and JB participated in the planning, conception, design, conduct, reporting, acquisition of data, data analysis, and interpretation of data. RJF and DQHT participated in the planning, conception, design, data analysis, and interpretation of data. JA acted as the guarantor.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests No competing interests to declare.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.