The Efficacy of Combined Popliteal and Ankle Blocks in Forefoot Surgery

Samuel, Rohit; Sloan, Andrew; Patel, Kuntal; Aglan, Magdy; Zubairy, Aamir
July 2008
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;Jul2008, Vol. 90-A Issue 7, p1443
Academic Journal
Background: Postoperative pain following forefoot surgery can be difficult to control with oral analgesia. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of a combined popliteal and ankle block with that of an ankle block alone in providing postoperative analgesia following forefoot surgery. Methods: We performed a prospective, randomized, controlled single-blind study involving sixty-three patients, twenty-six of whom had a combined ankle and popliteal block and thirty-seven of whom had an ankle block alone. All patients underwent an elective osseous surgical procedure on the forefoot. Postoperative pain was evaluated with use of a visual analogue scale and a verbal response form. Patient satisfaction was also recorded. Results: The patients who had had a combined popliteal and ankle block had significantly less pain at six hours post-operatively (p = 0.011), twenty-four hours postoperatively (p < 0.001), and at discharge (p = 0.014). This group of patients also had higher satisfaction with pain relief. Conclusions: A popliteal block in conjunction with an ankle block provides significantly better pain relief than does an ankle block alone in patients undergoing forefoot surgery.


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