To compare the clinical effects of anesthesia and postoperative analgesia for patients with unilateral lower-extremity fracture between multiple injections through catheters beside the lumbar plexus or sciatic nerve and continuous epidural analgesia.
Seventy patients with unilateral lower-extremity fracture scheduled for internal fixation were randomly divided into group N (n = 35) and group E (n = 35). Patients in group N received combined lumbar plexus and sciatic nerve block, then a catheter was inserted into the psoas compartment or beside the sciatic nerve, according to the surgical site, and 25 mL 0.375% ropivacaine was injected into patients in group N through the peripheral nerve catheter 12 hours after operation. Patients in group E received combined spinal and epidural anesthesia, and when the operation was complete kept the epidural catheter and received patient-controlled epidural analgesia with an analgesia pump.
The visual analog scores of patients at each time point in the two groups showed no significant difference ( P > 0.05). Mean arterial pressure at 30 minutes after anesthesia and 4 hours postoperation in group E decreased significantly and was significantly lower than group N ( P < 0.01). Group E had significantly higher rate of urinary retention than group N ( P < 0.05), and the time of first food intake of patients in group N was significantly shorter than in group E ( P < 0.001).