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Can bedside patient-reported numbness predict postoperative ambulation ability for total knee arthroplasty patients with nerve block catheters?
Mudumbai SC, Ganaway T, Kim TE, Howard SK, Giori NJ, Shum C, Mariano ER. Can bedside patient-reported numbness predict postoperative ambulation ability for total knee arthroplasty patients with nerve block catheters? Korean journal of anesthesiology. 2016 Feb 1; 69(1):32-6.
Adductor canal catheters offer advantages over femoral nerve catheters for knee replacement patients because they produce less quadriceps muscle weakness; however, applying adductor canal catheters in bedside clinical practice remains challenging. There is currently no patient-reported outcome that accurately predicts patients' physical function after knee replacement. The present study evaluates the validity of a relatively new patient-reported outcome, i.e., a numbness score obtained using a numeric rating scale, and assesses its predictive value on postoperative ambulation.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study pooling data from two previously-published clinical trials using identical research methodologies. Both studies recruited patients undergoing knee replacement; one studied adductor canal catheters while the other studied femoral nerve catheters. Our primary outcome was patient-reported numbness scores on postoperative day 1. We also examined postoperative day 1 ambulation distance and its association with postoperative numbness using linear regression, adjusting for age, body mass index, and physical status.
Data from 94 subjects were included (femoral subjects, n = 46; adductor canal subjects, n = 48). Adductor canal patients reported decreased numbness (median [10(th)-90(th) percentiles]) compared to femoral patients (0 [0-5] vs. 4 [0-10], P = 0.001). Adductor canal patients also ambulated seven times further on postoperative day 1 relative to femoral patients. There was a significant association between postoperative day 1 total ambulation distance and numbness (Beta = -2.6; 95% CI: -4.5, -0.8, P = 0.01) with R(2) = 0.1.
Adductor canal catheters facilitate improved early ambulation and produce less patient-reported numbness after knee replacement, but the correlation between these two variables is weak.