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Papers of the Week

2019 Dec

Rev Med Liege



[Lower limb postoperative analgesia evolution : Time for sensitive blocks].


Laurent P, Cres JC
Rev Med Liege. 2019 Dec; 74(12):662-666.
PMID: 31833277.


For about twenty years, peripheral nervous blocks have become the gold standard in postoperative analgesia for knee and foot surgery. The development of echography adapted to anesthesia gave anesthesiologists the opportunity to perform distal, mostly sensitive nerve blocks. Proximal nervous blocks associated analgesia used to be better than general (intravenous or oral) analgesia. Most of all it was associated with fewer side effects (nauseas, vomiting, drowsiness…). They reached an analgesia level comparable to central nerve blocks (epidural) with also fewer side effects (hypotension, bradycardia, lateralization…). A main problem with those blocks was that they involved motor blockade, impeding fast revalidation and walking restart. Distal nerve blocks, without motor blockade, offer as efficient analgesia as produced by proximal nerve blocks, without impeding motricity. Using those new techniques, it is now possible, with optimal analgesia, to allow almost immediate walking after a total knee replacement, and to perform most surgical foot operations in a one-day procedure.