A retrospective review of hip and knee replacement procedures suggests that patients who received a peripheral nerve block had fewer postsurgery complications.

Led by Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD, and his team at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the study was presented during the recent Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting in New Orleans.

In the study, Memtsoudis—an attending anesthesiologist and senior scientist at HSS—and his team conducted the retrospective review of more than one million hip and knee replacement procedures performed between 2006 and 2013 using data collected by Premier Perspective, a database with information from approximately 3,000 hospitals in the United States, according to a media release from HSS.

Information compiled included complications, including cardiac, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and renal. The researchers also determined the rate of infections, wound complications, inpatient falls, as well as data on “resource utilization”—ie, the number of blood transfusions needed, length of hospital stay, and the cost of hospitalization.

According to the findings, 342,726 patients had a hip replacement, and 719,426 had knee replacement surgery. Overall, 18% of the patients included in the study received a peripheral nerve block.

The data suggests that the use of a peripheral nerve block was associated with lower odds for almost all complications. A strong effect was seen for cardiac complications in knee replacement patients and for wound complications in those who had a hip replacement. Similar favorable patterns were observed for resource utilization, particularly in length of hospital stay among hip replacement patients, the release explains.

“Considering the relatively infrequent use of PNBs, our study results suggest that a wider implementation of regional anesthetic techniques could potentially have a major positive impact on both medical and economic outcomes,” Memtsoudis states in the release.

[Source(s): Hospital for Special Surgery, Newswise]