Results of a study of 80 total knee replacement patients that appears in the June edition of Anesthesia & Analgesia provides evidence that a nerve block technique which avoids the femoral nerve results in the need for less morphine and a potentially speedier recovery from the procedure.
Researchers determined that infusing pain-control medication through a catheter in the adductor canal of the mid-thigh – rather than higher up near the femoral nerve – provides better pain control and prevents temporary weakness of the leg muscles. This allows recovering patients to walk sooner and with more strength, resulting in improved participation in physical therapy. Patients in the study also needed less morphine to control post-surgical pain. Read a news story about the findings, with link to the article abstract, here.