Opioids have been the mainstay of treatment in the physiologically young geriatric hip fracture patient undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA). However opioid-related side effects increase morbidity. Regional anesthesia may provide better analgesia, while decreasing opioid-related side effects. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of perioperative continuous femoral nerve blockade with regards to pain scores, opioid-related side effects and posthospital disposition in hip fracture patients undergoing THA.Twenty-nine consecutive geriatric hip fracture patients (22 women/7 men) underwent THA. Average follow-up was 8.3 months (6 weeks-39 months). Fifteen patients were treated with standard analgesia (SA). Fourteen patients received an ultrasound-guided insertion of a femoral nerve catheter after radiographic confirmation of a hip fracture. All complications and readmissions that occurred within 6 weeks of surgery were noted.Continuous femoral nerve catheter (CFNC) patients were discharged home more frequently than SA patients (43% for CFNC vs 7% for SA; P = .023). CFNC patients reported lower average pain scores preoperatively (P < .0001), on postoperative day 1 (P = .005) and postoperative day 2 (P = .037). Preoperatively, CFNC patients required 61% less morphine equivalent (P = .007). CFNC patients had a lower rate of opioid-related side effects compared with SA patients (7% vs 47%; P = .035).CFNC patients were discharged to home more frequently. Use of a CFNC decreased daily average patient-reported pain scores, preoperative opioid usage, and opioid-related side effects after THA for hip fracture. Based on these data, we recommend routine use of perioperative CFNC in hip fracture patients undergoing THA.
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