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Comparison of Analgesic Effects of Continuous Femoral Nerve Block, Femoral Triangle Block and Adductor Block After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare the analgesic effects of continuous femoral nerve block (FNB), femoral triangle block (FTB), and adductor canal block (ACB) following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The goal was to identify the most effective nerve block technique among these three.

METHODS: Patients undergoing TKA were randomly assigned to one of three groups: FNB, FTB, or ACB. Nerve blocks were administered preoperatively, with catheters placed for patient-controlled nerve analgesia (PCNA). The primary endpoint was the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score at movement at 24 hours post-surgery. Secondary endpoints included NRS scores at rest and movement, quadriceps strength, Timed Up and Go (TUG) test performance, range of motion (ROM), effective PCNA utilization, and opioid consumption at various post-surgery time points.

RESULTS: Of the 94 valid datasets analyzed (FNB: 31, FTB: 31, ACB: 32), significant differences were observed in the primary endpoint (H=7.003, P=0.03). Post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni correction showed that the FNB group had a significantly lower median pain score (3 [2-4]) compared to the ACB group (4 [3-5], Bonferroni-adjusted P=0.03). Regarding secondary endpoints, both the FNB and FTB groups had lower NRS scores than the ACB group at various time points after surgery. Quadriceps strength and TUG completion were better in the FTB and ACB groups. There were no statistically significant differences among the groups for the other endpoints.

DISCUSSION: Continuous FTB provides postoperative analgesia comparable to FNB, but with the advantage of significantly less impact on quadriceps muscle strength, a benefit not seen with FNB. Both FTB and ACB are effective in preserving quadriceps strength postoperatively.

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