Major lumbar spine surgery causes severe postoperative pain. The primary objective of this randomized controlled study was to compare the effect of ultrasound (US)-guided erector spinae plane (ESP) block on 24-hour postoperative cumulative opioid requirements with standard (opioid-based) analgesia. Postoperative pain control and patient satisfaction were also assessed.
Materials and Methods:
Adults scheduled for elective lumbar spine surgery under general anesthesia were randomly assigned to the following (and they are): Control group-no preoperative ESP block, or ESP block group-preoperative bilateral US-guided ESP block. Both groups received standard general anesthesia during surgery. Postoperative pain score, number of patients requiring rescue analgesia, and total morphine consumption during the first 24 postoperative hours were recorded. Patient satisfaction was assessed 24 hours after surgery.
Postoperative morphine consumption was significantly lower in patients in the ESP group compared with those in the control group (1.4±1.5 vs. 7.2±2.0 mg, respectively; P<0.001). All patients in the control group required supplemental morphine compared with only 9 (45%) in the ESP block group (P=0.002). Pain scores immediately after surgery (P=0.002) and at 6 hours after surgery (P=0.040) were lower in the ESP block group compared with the control group. Patient satisfaction scores were more favorable in the block group (P<0.0001).
US-guided ESP block reduces postoperative opioid requirement and improves patient satisfaction compared with standard analgesia in lumbar spine surgery patients.