Author(s): Niskanen RO, Strandberg N
This randomized study compared the effectiveness of a femoral nerve block with other methods of pain control on the first postoperative day after total knee arthroplasty. The femoral block consisted of a single injection administered at patients' bedside during the surgeon's hospital rounds. Compared with control group patients, femoral block patients reported less pain on a visual analog scale and required one half the amount of oxycodone (P = .021). Additional femoral block or continued epidural analgesia was required more frequently by control group patients. Thus, pain management with femoral blocks resulted in less work for nursing staff (P = .004). Performing a femoral nerve block as needed during the surgeon's hospital rounds is quick and requires minimal additional time without any special equipment. Bedside femoral block is a useful adjunct to other pain control methods following primary total knee arthroplasty.