[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested the hypothesis that, following unicompartment knee arthroplasty, a continuous adductor canal block decreases the time to reach 4 discharge criteria compared with a continuous femoral nerve block.
Subjects were randomized to either an adductor canal or femoral perineural catheter (2-day ropivacaine 0.2% infusion) in an unmasked fashion. The primary outcome was the time to attain 4 discharge criteria: (1) adequate analgesia; (2) intravenous opioid independence; (3) ability to independently stand, walk 3 m, return, and sit down; and (4) ambulate 30 m.
Subjects with an adductor canal catheter (n = 15) reached all 4 criteria in a median of 35 hours (interquartile range, 24-43 hours), compared with 40 hours (interquartile range, 27-69 hours) for those with a femoral catheter (n = 15; Wilcoxon rank sum test: P = 0.46; log-rank test: P = 0.16). However, the percentages of subjects (adductor canal: femoral) who reached the 2 mobilization criteria were 27%:0% on postoperative day (POD) 0, 93%:53% on POD 1, and 100%:73% on POD 2. Of adductor canal subjects, 100% were discharge ready by POD 2, compared with only 73% of femoral subjects (P < 0.001).
Compared with a continuous femoral nerve block, a continuous adductor canal block did not appreciably decrease the median number of hours to overall discharge readiness, yet did decrease the number of discrete days until discharge readiness. These results are applicable to only unicompartment knee arthroplasty and must be considered preliminary because of the limited sample size of this pilot study.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Regional anesthesia and pain medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors conducted a randomized, controlled, parallel-arm, superiority study to test the hypothesis that a continuous adductor canal block decreases the time to attain four discharge criteria compared with a continuous femoral nerve block after tricompartment knee arthroplasty.
Subjects undergoing tricompartment knee arthroplasty were randomized using computer-generated lists to either an adductor canal or femoral perineural catheter (3-day ropivacaine 0.2% infusion) in an unmasked manner. The primary outcome was the time to attain four criteria: (1) adequate analgesia; (2) intravenous opioids independence; (3) ability to stand, walk 3 m, return, and sit down; and (4) ambulate 30 m.
Subjects with an adductor canal catheter (n = 39) reached all four criteria in a median of 55 h (interquartile, 42 to 63 h) compared with 61 h (49 to 69 h) for those with a femoral catheter (n = 41; 95% CI, -13 to 1 h; P = 0.12). The percentage of subjects who reached the two mobilization criteria on postoperative days 1 and 2 were 72 and 95% for those with an adductor canal catheter (n = 39), but only 27 and 76% in subjects with a femoral catheter (n = 41; both P < 0.001). Differences in pain scores at rest and intravenous opioid requirements were minimal, but femoral infusion improved dynamic analgesia (P = 0.01 to 0.02).
Compared with a continuous femoral nerve block, a continuous adductor canal block did not appreciably decrease the time to overall discharge readiness even though it did decrease the time until adequate mobilization, primarily because both groups experienced similar analgesia and intravenous opioid requirements that-in most cases-exceeded the time to mobilization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous randomized, triple-masked, placebo-controlled study, the authors demonstrated that extending a single-injection paravertebral nerve block with a multiple-day perineural local anesthetic infusion improves analgesia and decreases pain-related dysfunction during the 3-day infusion but not subsequent to catheter removal within 1 month after mastectomy. This report describes a prospective follow-up study of the previously published trial to investigate the possibility that extending a single-injection paravertebral block with a multiple-day infusion may decrease persistent postsurgical pain as well as pain-induced emotional and functional dysfunction 1 year after mastectomy.
Subjects undergoing uni- or bilateral mastectomy received unilateral (n = 24) or bilateral (n = 36) single-injection thoracic paravertebral block(s) with ropivacaine and perineural catheter(s). The subjects were randomized to receive either ropivacaine 0.4 % (n = 30) or normal saline (n = 30) via their catheters until the catheters were removed on postoperative day 3. Chronic pain and pain-related physical and emotional dysfunction were measured using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI).
No statistically significant difference between treatments 3 months after surgery was observed with the BPI. In contrast, after 12 months, only 4 subjects (13 %) who had received a perineural ropivacaine infusion reported pain-induced dysfunction compared with 14 (47 %) who had received saline infusion (P = 0.011). At 12 months, the mean BPI was 1.6 ± 4.6 for the subjects who received ropivacaine versus 5.9 ± 11.3 for the subjects who received saline (P = 0.007).
Adding a multiple-day, continuous ropivacaine infusion to a single-injection ropivacaine paravertebral nerve block may result in a lower incidence of pain as well as pain-related physical and emotional dysfunction 1 year after mastectomy.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
It remains unknown whether local anaesthetic dose is the only factor influencing continuous popliteal-sciatic nerve block effects, or whether concentration, volume, or both exert an influence as well.
Bilateral sciatic catheters were inserted in volunteers (n=24). Catheters were randomly assigned to ropivacaine of either 0.1% (8 ml h(-1)) or 0.4% (2 ml h(-1)) for 6 h. The primary endpoint was the tolerance to transcutaneous electrical stimulation within the tibial nerve distribution at hour 6. Secondary endpoints included current tolerance at other time points and plantar flexion maximum voluntary isometric contraction (22 h total).
At hour 6, tolerance to cutaneous stimulation for limbs receiving 0.1% ropivacaine was [mean (standard deviation)] 27.0 (20.2) vs26.9 (20.4) mA for limbs receiving 0.4% [estimated mean difference 0.2 mA; 90% confidence interval (CI) -8.2 to 8.5; P=0.02 and 0.03 for lower and upper boundaries, respectively]. Because the 90% CI fell within the prespecified tolerance ±10 mA, we conclude that the effect of the two concentration/volume combinations were equivalent. Similar negative findings were found for the secondary outcomes.
For continuous popliteal-sciatic nerve blocks, we found no evidence that local anaesthetic concentration and volume influence block characteristics, suggesting that local anaesthetic dose (mass) is the primary determinant of perineural infusion effects in this anatomic location. These findings suggest that for ambulatory perineural local anaesthetic infusion-for which there is usually a finite local anaesthetic reservoir-decreasing the basal rate while increasing the local anaesthetic concentration may allow for increased infusion duration without compromising postoperative analgesia.
Clinical trial registration:
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Single-injection transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block provides postoperative analgesia and decreases supplemental analgesic requirements. However, there is currently no evidence from randomized, controlled studies investigating the possible benefits of continuous TAP blocks. Therefore, the aim of this randomized, triple-masked, placebo-controlled study was to determine if benefits are afforded by adding a multiple-day, ambulatory, continuous ropivacaine TAP block to a single-injection block following hernia surgery.Methods
Preoperatively, subjects undergoing unilateral inguinal (N = 19) or peri-umbilical (N = 1) hernia surgery received unilateral or bilateral TAP perineural catheter(s), respectively. All received a ropivacaine 0.5% (20 mL) bolus via the catheter(s). Subjects were randomized to either postoperative perineural ropivacaine 0.2% or normal saline using portable infusion pump(s). Subjects were discharged home where the catheter(s) were removed the evening of postoperative day (POD) 2. Subjects were contacted on POD 0–3. The primary endpoint was average pain with movement (scale: 0–10) queried on POD 1.ResultsTwenty subjects of a target 30 were enrolled due to the primary surgeon's unanticipated departure from the institution. Average pain queried on POD 1 for subjects receiving ropivacaine (N = 10) was a mean (standard deviation) of 3.0 (2.6) vs 2.8 (2.7) for subjects receiving saline (N = 10; 95% confidence interval difference in means −2.9 to 3.4; P = 0.86). There were no statistically significant differences detected between treatment groups in any secondary endpoint.Conclusions
The results of this study do not support adding an ambulatory, continuous ropivacaine infusion to a single-injection ropivacaine TAP block for hernia surgery. However, the present investigation was underpowered, and further study is warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to determine with this randomized, triple-masked, placebo-controlled study if benefits are afforded by adding a multiple-day, ambulatory, continuous ropivacaine paravertebral nerve block to a single-injection ropivacaine paravertebral block after mastectomy.
Preoperatively, 60 subjects undergoing unilateral (n = 24) or bilateral (n = 36) mastectomy received either unilateral or bilateral paravertebral perineural catheter(s), respectively, inserted between the third and fourth thoracic transverse process(es). All subjects received an initial bolus of ropivacaine 0.5% (15 mL) via the catheter(s). Subjects were randomized to receive either perineural ropivacaine 0.4% or normal saline using portable infusion pump(s) [5 mL/h basal; 300 mL reservoir(s)]. Subjects remained hospitalized for at least 1 night and were subsequently discharged home where the catheter(s) were removed on postoperative day (POD) 3. Subjects were contacted by telephone on PODs 1, 4, 8, and 28. The primary end point was average pain (scale, 0-10) queried on POD 1.
Average pain queried on POD 1 for subjects receiving perineural ropivacaine (n = 30) was a median (interquartile) of 2 (0-3), compared with 4 (1-5) for subjects receiving saline (n = 30; 95% confidence interval difference in medians, -4.0 to -0.3; P = 0.021]. During this same period, subjects receiving ropivacaine experienced a lower severity of breakthrough pain (5 [3-6] vs 7 [5-8]; P = 0.046) as well. As a result, subjects receiving perineural ropivacaine experienced less pain-induced physical and emotional dysfunction, as measured with the Brief Pain Inventory (lower score = less dysfunction): 14 (4-37) versus 57 (8-67) for subjects receiving perineural saline (P = 0.012). For the subscale that measures the degree of interference of pain on 7 domains, such as general activity and relationships, subjects receiving perineural saline reported a median score 10 times higher (more dysfunction) than those receiving ropivacaine (3 [0-24] vs 33 [0-44]; P = 0.035). In contrast, after infusion discontinuation, there were no statistically significant differences detected between treatment groups.
After mastectomy, adding a multiple-day, ambulatory, continuous ropivacaine infusion to a single-injection ropivacaine paravertebral nerve block results in improved analgesia and less functional deficit during the infusion. However, no benefits were identified after infusion discontinuation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Regional anesthesia and pain medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently available local anesthetics approved for single-injection peripheral nerve blocks have a maximum duration of <24 hours. A liposomal bupivacaine formulation (EXPAREL, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, CA), releasing bupivacaine over 96 hours, recently gained Food and Drug Administration approval exclusively for wound infiltration but not peripheral nerve blocks.
Bilateral single-injection femoral nerve blocks were administered in healthy volunteers (n = 14). For each block, liposomal bupivacaine (0-80 mg) was mixed with normal saline to produce 30 mL of study fluid. Each subject received 2 different doses, 1 on each side, applied randomly in a double-masked fashion. The end points included the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the quadriceps femoris muscle and tolerance to cutaneous electrical current in the femoral nerve distribution. Measurements were performed from baseline until quadriceps MVIC returned to 80% of baseline bilaterally.
There were statistically significant dose responses in MVIC (0.09%/mg, SE = 0.03, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.04-0.14, P = 0.002) and tolerance to cutaneous current (-0.03 mA/mg, SE = 0.01, 95% CI, -0.04 to -0.02, P < 0.001), however, in the opposite direction than expected (the higher the dose, the lower the observed effect). This inverse relationship is biologically implausible and most likely due to the limited sample size and the subjective nature of the measurement instruments. While peak effects occurred within 24 hours after block administration in 75% of cases (95% CI, 43%-93%), block duration usually lasted much longer: for bupivacaine doses >40 mg, tolerance to cutaneous current did not return to within 20% above baseline until after 24 hours in 100% of subjects (95% CI, 56%-100%). MVIC did not consistently return to within 20% of baseline until after 24 hours in 90% of subjects (95% CI, 54%-100%). Motor block duration was not correlated with bupivacaine dose (0.06 hour/mg, SE = 0.14, 95% CI, -0.27 to 0.39, P = 0.707).
The results of this investigation suggest that deposition of a liposomal bupivacaine formulation adjacent to the femoral nerve results in a partial sensory and motor block of >24 hours for the highest doses examined. However, the high variability of block magnitude among subjects and inverse relationship of dose and response magnitude attests to the need for a phase 3 study with a far larger sample size, and that these results should be viewed as suggestive, requiring confirmation in a future trial.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Anesthesia and analgesia
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Historically, the anterolateral interscalene block--deposition of local anesthetic adjacent to the brachial plexus roots/trunks--has been used for surgical procedures involving the shoulder. The resulting block frequently failed to provide surgical anesthesia of the hand and forearm, even though the brachial plexus at this level included all of the axons of the upper-extremity terminal nerves. However, it remains unknown whether deposition of local anesthetic adjacent to the seventh cervical root or inferior trunk results in anesthesia of the hand and forearm.
Using ultrasound guidance and a needle-in-plane posterior approach, a Tuohy needle was positioned with the tip located between the deepest and next-deepest visualized brachial plexus root/trunk, followed by injection of mepivacaine (1.5%). Grip strength and the tolerance to cutaneous electrical current in 5 terminal nerve distributions were measured at baseline and then every 5 minutes following injection for a total of 30 minutes. The primary end point was the proportion of cases in which the interscalene nerve block resulted in a decrease in grip strength of at least 90% and hand and forearm anesthesia (tolerance to >50 mA of current in all 5 terminal nerve distributions) within 30 minutes. The primary hypothesis was that a single-injection interscalene brachial plexus block produces a similar rate of anesthesia of the hand and forearm to the published success rate of 95% for other brachial plexus block approaches.
Of 55 subjects with blocks placed per protocol, all had a successful block of the shoulder as defined by inability to abduct at the shoulder joint. Thirty-three subjects had measurements at 30 minutes following local anesthetic deposition, and only 5 (15%) of these subjects had a surgical block of the hand and forearm (P < 0.0001; 95% confidence interval, 6%-33%). We therefore reject the hypothesis that the interscalene block as performed in this study provides equivalent anesthesia to the hand and forearm compared with other brachial plexus block techniques. Block failures of the hand and forearm were due to inadequate cutaneous anesthesia of the ulnar (n = 27; 82%), median (n = 26; 78%), or radial (n = 22; 67%) distributions; the medial forearm (n = 25; 76%); and/or the lateral forearm (n = 14; 42%). Failure to achieve at least a 90% reduction in grip strength occurred in 16 subjects (48%).
This study did not find evidence to support the hypothesis that local anesthetic injected adjacent to the deepest brachial plexus roots/trunks reliably results in surgical anesthesia of the hand and forearm.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Regional anesthesia and pain medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
There is currently no reliable treatment for phantom limb pain (PLP). Chronic PLP and associated cortical abnormalities may be maintained from abnormal peripheral input, raising the possibility that a continuous peripheral nerve block (CPNB) of extended duration may permanently reorganize cortical pain mapping, thus providing lasting relief.
Three men with below-the-knee (2) or -elbow (1) amputations and intractable PLP received femoral/sciatic or infraclavicular perineural catheter(s), respectively. Subjects were randomized in a double-masked fashion to receive perineural ropivacaine (0.5%) or normal saline for over 6 days as outpatients using portable electronic infusion pumps. Four months later, subjects returned for repeated perineural catheter insertion and received an ambulatory infusion with the alternate solution ("crossover"). Subjects were followed for up to 1 year.
By chance, all three subjects received saline during their initial infusion and reported little change in their PLP. One subject did not receive crossover treatment, but the remaining two subjects reported complete resolution of their PLP during and immediately following treatment with ropivacaine. One subject experienced no PLP recurrence through the 52-week follow-up period and the other reported mild PLP occurring once each week of just a small fraction of his original pain (pretreatment: continuous PLP rated 10/10; posttreatment: no PLP at baseline with average of one PLP episode each week rated 2/10) for 12 weeks (lost to follow-up thereafter).
A prolonged ambulatory CPNB may be a reliable treatment for intractable PLP. The results of this pilot study suggest that a large, randomized clinical trial is warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During a continuous femoral nerve block, the influence of catheter tip position relative to the femoral nerve on infusion characteristics remains unknown.
We inserted bilateral femoral perineural catheters in volunteers (ultrasound-guided, needle in-plane). Subjects' dominant side was randomized to have the catheter tip placed either anterior or posterior to the femoral nerve. The contralateral limb received the alternative position. Ropivacaine 0.1% was administered through both catheters concurrently for 6 hours (4 mL/h). Outcome measures included the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the quadriceps femoris muscle and tolerance to cutaneous electrical current over to the distal quadriceps tendon. Measurements were performed at hour 0 (baseline), and on the hour until hour 9, as well as hour 22. The primary end point was the MVIC of the quadriceps at hour 6.
As a percentage of the baseline measurement, quadriceps MVIC for limbs with anterior (n = 16) and posterior (n = 16) catheter tip placement did not differ to a statistically significant degree at hour 6 (mean [SD] 29%  vs 30% , respectively; 95% confidence interval: -22% to 20%; P = 0.931), or at any other time point. However, the maximum tolerance to cutaneous electrical current was higher in limbs with anterior compared with posterior catheter tip placement at hour 6 (20  mA vs 6  mA, respectively; 95% confidence interval: 1-27 mA; P = 0.035), as well as at hours 1, 7, 8, and 9 (P < 0.04).
This study documents the significant (70%-80%) quadriceps femoris weakness induced by a continuous femoral nerve block infusion at a relatively low dose of ropivacaine (4 mg/h) delivered through a perineural catheter located both anterior and posterior to the femoral nerve. In contrast, an anterior placement increases cutaneous sensory block compared with a posterior insertion, without a concurrent relative increase in motor block.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Anesthesia and analgesia