Pain Management with Early Regional Anesthesia in Geriatric Hip Fracture Patients

John M. Garlich, Amit Pujari, Zachary Moak, Eytan Debbi, Raj Yalamanchili, Sam Stephenson, Stephen Stephan, Landon Polakof, Milton Little, Charles Moon, Kapil Anand, Carol A. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Geriatric hip fracture patients are susceptible to the adverse effects of opioid-induced analgesia. Fascia iliaca blocks (FIBs) have emerged as an analgesic technique for this population. There are limited data on a preoperative FIB's effect on perioperative opioid intake. We hypothesized that preoperative FIB would reduce perioperative opioid consumption, measured in morphine milliequivalents (MMEs). DESIGN: This is a prospective observational study. SETTING: A level 1 trauma center in California. PARTICIPANTS: From March 2017 to December 2017, patients 65 years and older presenting with a hip fracture received a preoperative FIB and were prospectively observed. This cohort was compared with a historical control. INTERVENTION: All prospectively enrolled patients were given FIBs. For a single-shot FIB, a 30- to 40-mL bolus of 0.25% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine was injected. For a continuous FIB, a bolus of 10 to 20 mL of 0.2% bupivacaine was injected, followed by a continuous infusion of 0.2% bupivacaine at 6 mL/h ending on the morning of postoperative Day 1. RESULTS: A total of 725 patients were included in this study, with 92 in the prospectively collected cohort. The mean age of this cohort was 84.2 (standard deviation = 8.4) years, and 69.2% were female. Patients who received a preoperative FIB consumed less MME preoperatively, 18.0 (interquartile range = 6.0–44.5) versus 29.5 (interquartile range = 6.0–56.5) (P =.007), with no change in pain scores. No differences were found in postoperative opioid consumption between groups. There was no difference in MME or pain score in patients with dementia. Subgroup analysis based on fracture pattern (femoral neck and intertrochanteric) demonstrated a significant decrease in preoperative MME consumption in femoral neck fractures only, 12.0 (interquartile range = 5.0–24.0) versus 29.0 (interquartile range = 12.0–59.0) (P <.001). CONCLUSION: FIBs reduce preoperative opioid intake and have low rates of opioid-related adverse events in geriatric hip fracture patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: The level of evidence was II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2043-2050
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • fascia iliaca blocks
  • hip fractures
  • opioids
  • pain
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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