Last updated on May 2018

The Analgesic Efficacy of the Ultrasound-Guided Femoral Articular Branch Block for Ambulatory Hip Arthroscopy


Brief description of study

Hip arthroscopy surgery can be associated with significant pain. A regional anesthesia technique, the femoral articular branch block (FAB), has recently been proposed to collectively block terminal femoral and accessory obturator nerve branches to the hip joint with a single injection, theoretically blocking most of the innervation relevant to hip arthroscopy while sparing the main femoral nerve branches to the quadriceps muscles. The investigators aim to demonstrate the analgesic benefits of FAB. The investigators hypothesize that FAB will reduce opioid consumption and improve postoperative quality of recovery in patients having hip arthroscopy. This is a randomized, controlled, double-blind study and half the patients will be randomized to receive the femoral articular branch block and the other half of patients will be randomized to receive a placebo block. A comparison of pain will be made between both groups.

Detailed Study Description

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical technique that is gaining popularity for its diagnostic and therapeutic role in the management of adult hip pain. This procedure is frequently associated with severe post-operative pain despite the practice of injecting the hip joint with local anesthetics at the end of the procedure and the use of intraoperative opioids. The ideal analgesic technique that provides adequate pain relief following this procedure has not been established yet.

There is evidence to suggest that a femoral nerve block (FNB) may provide clinically meaningful analgesia. The investigators have examined the benefits of FNB both retrospectively and prospectively in hip arthroscopy patients at Women's College Hospital (WCH). Both of our studies suggested modest benefits of the FNB in terms of controlling post-operative pain and reducing opioid consumption. However the majority of patients continued to experience moderate to severe post-operative pain and required significant amounts of opioid analgesics in the Peri-Anesthesia Unit (PAU), despite receiving the FNB.

Another regional anesthesia technique, the femoral articular branch block (FAB) has recently been proposed to collectively block the terminal femoral and accessory obturator nerve branches to the hip joint with a single injection, theoretically blocking most of the innervation relevant to hip arthroscopy while sparing the main femoral nerve branches to the quadriceps muscle. The investigators aim to demonstrate the analgesic benefits of FAB.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03449680

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Whelan, MD,FRCSC

Women's College Hospital
Toronto, ON Canada
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