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Comparing low volume saphenous-obturator block with placebo and femoral-obturator block for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a randomized controlled trial

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BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-RC) is often associated with moderate to severe postoperative pain even with a multimodal analgesic regimen. We aimed to compare the analgesic efficacy of low volume saphenous-obturator block with placebo and femoral- obturator block in patients undergoing ACL-RC.

METHODS: In a randomized controlled trial eighty-two patients undergoing ACL-RC with hamstring autograft were allocated to either low volume saphenous-obturator block, placebo block or femoral-obturator block. Ropivacaine 0.75% was used for active blocks and saline for placebo. Primary outcome was pain-scores at rest quantified as area-under-the-curve 0-6 hr postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were postoperative opioid consumption and pain localization in the knee.

RESULTS: No statistical difference existed between groups in area-under-the-curve 6 hr pain- scores. However, pain-scores were significantly lower in the two ropivacaine groups compared to placebo at emergence t=0 (P<0.018), at t=5 (P<0.042) and at t=6 hours (P<0.002) postoperatively. Furthermore, ropivacaine blocks exhibited significantly reduced total opioid consumption (15.81 and 18.44 mg) postoperatively compared with placebo (26.38 mg) (P<0.018). Patients receiving ropivacaine blocks localized pain in the posterolateral knee, whereas placebo block patients reported anteromedial and central pain. Other secondary outcomes were similar between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Low volume saphenous-obturator block is significantly more effective than placebo in reducing both early and late pain-scores as well as postoperative opioid consumption in patients undergoing ACL-RC. No statistical difference existed when comparing low volume saphenous-obturator block to femoral-obturator block regarding early and late pain-scores and postoperative opioid consumption.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)168-77
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 52645648