A comparison of the fascia iliaca block to the lumbar plexus block in providing analgesia following arthroscopic hip surgery: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Ignacio Badiola, Jiabin Liu, Stephanie Huang, John D Kelly, Nabil Elkassabany
Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 2018, 49: 26-29

STUDY OBJECTIVE: This randomized controlled single blinded clinical trial compared the fascia iliaca block (FIB) and the lumbar plexus block (LPB) in patients with moderate to severe pain following hip arthroscopic surgery.

DESIGN: Single blinded randomized trial.

SETTING: Postoperative recovery area, postoperative days 0 and 1.

PATIENTS: Fifty patients undergoing hip arthroscopy were approached in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) if they had moderate to severe pain (defined as > or equal 4/10 on the numeric rating scale). Twenty-five patients were allocated to the FIB and twenty-five patients to the LPB.

INTERVENTIONS: Fascia iliaca block or lumbar plexus block.

MEASUREMENTS: A blinded observer recorded pain scores just prior to the block, 15 min following the block (primary endpoint), and then every 15 min for 2 h (or until the patient was discharged). Total PACU time and opioid use were recorded. Pain scores and analgesic use on postoperative day (POD) 0, and POD 1 were recorded. At 24 h post block the Quality of Recovery 9 questionnaire was administered.

RESULTS: The mean pre-block pain scores were comparable between the two groups (P = 0.689). There was no difference in mean post block pain scores between the two groups at 15 min (P = 0.054). In the PACU patients who underwent a LPB consumed less opioids compared to FIB patients (P = 0.02), however no differences were noted between the two groups in PACU length of stay, or POD 0 or 1 opioid use.

CONCLUSION: A fascia iliaca block is not inferior to a lumbar plexus block in reducing PACU pain scores in patients with moderate to severe pain following hip arthroscopic surgery and is a viable option to help manage postoperative pain following hip arthroscopic surgery.


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