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Regional Anesthesia Tied to Lower Opioid Use in TKA, THA

Findings based on comparison to general anesthesia for knee and hip arthroplasty

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THURSDAY, May 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Regional anesthesia is associated with a lower opioid consumption in both knee and hip replacement surgeries, compared to general anesthesia, according to a study published May 14 in PAIN Practice.

Katharina Donauer, M.D., from Saarland University in Homburg, Germany, and colleagues used the international PAIN OUT registry (2010 to 2016) to identify 2,346 cases of knee arthroplasty and 2,315 of hip arthroplasty. The authors sought to compare morphine consumption on the first postoperative day based upon the use of regional anesthesia versus general anesthesia.

The researchers found that for knee surgery, regional anesthesia was associated with reduced opioid consumption (P < 0.001) and less pain (P = 0.001) than general anesthesia, after adjustments for confounders. In hip surgery, regional anesthesia was only associated with reduced opioid consumption (P < 0.001), not less pain (P = 0.1).

"All cohorts with regional anesthesia showed a reduced opioid consumption not leading to reduced odds for nausea compared to systemic analgesia," the authors write.

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