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The Impact of Epidural Analgesia on Immobility and extended Hospital Stay After Periacetabular Osteotomy.

AIMS: Early mobilisation after periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) represents an important goal after surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of epidural aznalgesia (EA) is associated with prolonged immobility and an increased length of stay (LOS) after PAO surgery.

METHODS: From January 2022 to July 2023, the study included a cohort of 150 PAO procedures all performed by the same surgeon (SSA). Patients were categorized into two distinct groups: those who received epidural analgesia (EA) (79 PAOs) and those who did not receive EA (71 PAOs). "Ready for discharge" was defined as the ability to ascend and descend a standardized flight of stairs independently. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify additional factors influencing LOS after PAO.

RESULTS: Patients in the EA group were ready for discharge 5.95 ± 2.09 days after surgery which was significantly longer than in the No EA group´s average of 4.18 days ± 2.5, (p < 0.001). While the reduction in the number of patients experiencing pulmonary embolism in the No EA group did not reach statistical significance, it still demonstrated a relevant decrease from two patients within the EA group (2.53%) to 0 (0%) in the No EA group. The active engagement of the surgeon in mobilising patients led to a substantial reduction in LOS, decreasing it from 5.81 ± 2.18 days to 2.2 ± 0.77 days (p < 0.001). Multivariable analysis revealed five independent factors influencing the LOS following PAO which included absence of EA, surgeon-led mobilisation within 24 h after surgery, postoperative hemoglobin levels, BMI, and prior experience with PAO surgery on the contralateral side.

CONCLUSIONS: Opting against the use of EA in patients undergoing PAO is advisable, as it will result in extended postoperative immobility and the associated risks. Additionally, the active participation of the surgeon in the mobilisation process is strongly recommended.

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