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Papers of the Week

2020 Apr

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg



Optimizing donor site analgesia after bone harvest from iliac crest.


Grimes DR, Frezzini C, Grimes EJ, Rowson JE, Ormiston IW
Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Apr; 49(4):442-445.
PMID: 31561844.


At Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, alveolar bone grafts (ABG) for patients with cleft lip and palate (CLP) were performed by two surgeons following the same surgical protocol, but with different postoperative iliac crest donor site analgesia: surgeon A used a donor site bolus of levobupivacaine, whilst surgeon B used a donor site epidural catheter (EC) infusing levobupivacaine. A healthcare evaluation was conducted in two phases to establish the effectiveness of analgesia for CLP patients undergoing ABGs. Data were collected prospectively in 2016 and 2018. Cleft patients postoperative to ABG were included. Outcome measures were pain scores at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 hours, time to mobilization, and time to food intake. Mean pain scores at the first evaluation were <1 out of 10 for all time points, except 24 hours (score 2.0 for bolus, 1.8 for EC). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups for any of the outcomes measured. As EC conferred no advantage, surgeon B changed to bolus administration and a second evaluation was performed. The mean pain score for the second evaluation was 1.7 and higher pain scores were more common with lower doses of levobupivacaine. The data suggest that bolus injection can produce safe, effective pain control provided an adequate dose is given.