A new inguinal approach for the obturator nerve block: anatomical and randomized clinical studies.
ABSTRACT Obturator nerve block is highly recommended for knee surgery in addition to a femoral nerve block. The main disadvantage of the classic approach at the pubic tubercle is low patient acceptance due to pain and discomfort. The authors hypothesized that the use of a new inguinal obturator nerve block technique would reduce pain and discomfort in patients.
The inguinal approach was simulated in five fresh cadavers. Injection of latex was performed in two cadavers. The location of the needle and the extent of latex solution were analyzed. Fifty patients scheduled to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery were randomly assigned to receive obturator nerve block using either the inguinal (n = 25) or the pubic tubercle approach (n = 25).
In all cadavers, the needle was close to the obturator nerve branches, which were surrounded by the latex solution. In the clinical study, visual analog scale pain scores and discomfort of block placement were significantly lower in the inguinal group compared with the pubic tubercle group (P < 0.01). In the inguinal group, there was a significant decrease in block performance time (P < 0.05) and in bolus of propofol and fentanyl used for the procedure (P < 0.01). Twenty minutes after application of the block, adductor strength decrease, occurrence, and location of cutaneous distribution of the obturator nerve were not significantly different between the groups. The incidence of minor complications was significantly increased in the pubic tubercle group (P < 0.05). No major complications were observed.
The new inguinal approach decreases patient discomfort and pain of block placement as well as the time and sedation and analgesics required for a similar quality of sensory and motor block compared with the pubic tubercle approach.
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ABSTRACT: Today, there is a growing appreciation of the importance of the obturator nerve in clinical anesthesia. The aim of this study is to describe the ultrasound appearance of the obturator nerve for potential utility in guiding these nerve blocks. We scanned left and right inguinal regions of 20 volunteers lateral and distal to the pubic tubercle (PT) and assessed visibility, size and shape, and depth from the skin of common obturator nerves and their associated divisions. In addition to the volunteer study, we retrospectively reviewed a clinical series of obturator nerve blocks performed with ultrasound guidance and nerve stimulation. The obturator nerve can be sonographically visualized by scanning along the known course of the nerve; the anterior division characteristically converges toward the posterior division along the lateral border of the adductor brevis muscle to form the common obturator nerve more proximally. In the set of 20 volunteers, 25% (10/40) of common, 85% (34/40) of anterior, and 87.5% (35/40) of posterior obturator nerves were sonographically identified. The common obturator nerve was visualized 1.3 +/- 1.5 cm distal and 2.3 +/- 1.2 cm lateral to the PT. Divisions were visualized 2.1 +/- 2.0 cm distal and 2.1 +/- 1.2 cm lateral to the PT. The nerves (common, anterior, and posterior) averaged 2.7 +/- 1.2 mm, 1.4 +/- 0.6 mm, and 1.7 +/- 0.6 mm in anterior-posterior dimension and 9.0 +/- 4.3 mm, 9.6 +/- 3.9 mm, and 10.9 +/- 4.1 mm in medial-lateral dimension and were 25.9 +/- 7.6 mm, 15.5 +/- 3.9 mm, and 29.3 +/- 7.9 mm below the skin surface. The common obturator nerve and its anterior and posterior divisions are all relatively flat nerves with average anterior-posterior/medial-lateral dimension ratios of 0.32, 0.18, and 0.18, respectively. In the clinical series, nerve identification was confirmed with nerve stimulation (n = 6 block procedures, mean threshold stimulating current for evoked adductor contraction = 0.70 +/- 0.14 mA). The obturator nerve and its divisions are the flattest peripheral nerves yet described with ultrasound imaging. Knowledge of the obturator nerve's ultrasound appearance facilitates localization of this nerve for regional block and may increase success of such procedures.Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 32(2):146-51. · 4.08 Impact Factor
Article: Comparison of the success rate of inguinal approach with classical pubic approach for obturator nerve block in patients undergoing TURB.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During transurethral resection of bladder tumors (TURB) under spinal anesthesia, electrical resection of the lateral wall mass may cause violent adductor contraction and possible inadvertent bladder perforation. Therefore, obturator nerve block (ONB) is mandatory after spinal anesthesia to avoid adductor muscle contraction. We compared the success rate and efficacy of an inguinal approach, to a pubic approach for ONB. One hundred and two patients who required ONB undergoing TURB with spinal anesthesia were included in this study. After spinal anesthesia, ONB was performed with an inguinal approach (Group I, n = 51) or pubic approach (Group P, n = 51) using a nerve stimulator. In the pubic approach, a needle was inserted at a point 1.5 cm lateral and 1.5 cm inferior to the pubic tubercle. For the inguinal approach, a needle was inserted at the midpoint of the femoral artery and the inner margin of the adductor longus muscle 0.5 cm below the inguinal crease. If the adductor contracture had not occurred by the 3rd attempt, it was defined as a failed block. Puncture frequency, success rate, anatomical characteristics, and the presence of adductor muscle contraction during operation were evaluated. The success rate of ONB was higher in group I compared to group P (96.1% vs. 84.0%, P = 0.046) and the frequency of needle attempts was lower in group I than in group P (1.8 ± 0.9 vs. 1.3 ± 0.6, P = 0.01). The inguinal approach for ONB appears to be technically easier and offers certain anatomical advantages when compared to the pubic approach.Korean journal of anesthesiology 08/2011; 61(2):143-7.