A nerve block technique that uses the adductor canal of the mid-thigh, rather than the area near the femoral nerve, helps total knee patients recover faster and with less opioid consumption, a recent study suggests.
The study, which was carried out at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, involved 80 total knee replacement patients. The authors write that patients who had a 0.2% ropivacaine solution infused through a catheter (as opposed to a sham catheter) in the adductor canal reported less pain and showed no temporary weakness in their legs, allowing them to walk sooner and farther.
The technique "appears to improve safety and clinical outcomes, and reduces the length of time needed for hospitalization," says David Auyong, MD, one of the research team members. "All patients now get this nerve block at Virginia Mason as part of our standard work for knee replacement surgery."