Mauricio Arce Villalobos 1 , Giorgio Veneziano 1 , 2 , Christopher Iobst 3 , Rebecca Miller 2 , Ana Gabriela Walch 2 , Catherine Roth 2 , Graciela Argote-Romero 1 , 2 , David P Martin 1 , 2 , Ralph J Beltran 1 , 2 , Joseph D Tobias 1 , 2
16 March 2020
The use of regional anesthesia techniques continues to expand in a wide variety of surgical procedures as the benefits and safety are increasingly appreciated. Limb-lengthening procedures are often associated with significant postoperative pain and high opioid requirements which may impact patient’s recovery and increase risk of chronic pain and long-term opioid use.
The current study retrospectively reviews our experience utilizing a novel peripheral nerve catheter (PNC) protocol for postoperative pain management in patients undergoing elective limb-lengthening procedures. We measure total opioid consumption following 48 hrs in the postoperative period between groups.
A total of 70 patients were included from which 41 received general plus regional anesthesia (RA) and 29 were managed with general anesthesia alone (NORA). Postoperative pain needs were calculated as morphine equivalents (ME). There were no differences in the demographic characteristics between the groups. Over the first 48 postoperative hours, opioid use was 0.5 mg/kg ME (IQR 0.3, 0.9) in the RA group versus 1.7 mg/kg ME (IQR 1.1, 3.1) in the NORA group (p<0.001). Subgroup analysis between femoral lengthening and tibial-fibular lengthening procedures demonstrated the same opioid-sparing effect favoring the RA group compared to the NORA group. Hospital length of stay was significantly shorter in the femoral lengthening RA group compared to NORA group (32 hrs [IQR 29, 35] versus 53 hrs [IQR 33, 55], respectively). There was no significant difference in length of stay between the RA group and NORA group after tibial-fibular lengthening procedures.