Introduction and Objective:
Epidural anesthesia (EA) is often used for pain control in children with cerebral palsy (CP) who undergo hip reconstructions. The purpose of this study is to determine if preoperative fascia iliaca (FI) pain blocks would improve pain scores, decrease opioid use, and result in shorter hospital stays in comparison to the use of EA.
This is a nonrandomized retrospective cohort study examining 60 consecutive patients with CP who underwent hip reconstruction utilizing either a fascia iliac compartment nerve block (FICNB) (N=37) or continuous lumbar epidural (N=22) from January 2017 to March 2019. Age at surgery was 8.5±4.6 years. We recorded age, weight, operating room (OR) time, FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability scale) scores on postoperative days (PODs) 0, 1, 2, and 3, opioid doses, overall opioid (mg) used, and length of stay. We compared pain scores, opioid usage, OR time, and lengths of stay between our 2 patient groups.
Pain scores were similar between groups on POD #0, 2, and 3 but were statistically improved on POD #1 (1.8±1.3 vs. 3.1±1.4, P<0.001). Total number of opiod doses (7.9±4.4 vs. 10.7±2.3, P=0.004), total milligram given (18.3±11.8 vs. 24.7±12.3, P<0.05), and milligram per kilogram given (0.77±0.42 vs. 1.11 mg/kg±0.36 mg/kg, P=0.001) were less for the FI group versus the epidural group. The OR time (which includes time for blocks/epidurals) was lower in the FI group (4.6±1.2 vs. 5.7±1.1 h, P=0.0002). Overall hospital stays were lower in the FI group (3.4±1.5 vs. 4.1±1.0 d, P<0.05).
This study demonstrates that in the setting of hip reconstruction, patients that received preoperative FI blocks used a lower amount of opioids, required fewer rescue doses and ultimately had a shorter hospital length of stay than those undergoing EA.