The aim of this systematic review was to develop recommendations for the management of postoperative pain after primary elective total hip arthroplasty, updating the previous procedure-specific postoperative pain management (PROSPECT) guidelines published in 2005 and updated in July 2010. Randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses published between July 2010 and December 2019 assessing postoperative pain using analgesic, anaesthetic, surgical or other interventions were identified from MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane databases. Five hundred and twenty studies were initially identified, of which 108 randomised trials and 21 meta-analyses met the inclusion criteria. Peri-operative interventions that improved postoperative pain include: paracetamol; cyclo-oxygenase-2-selective inhibitors; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; and intravenous dexamethasone. In addition, peripheral nerve blocks (femoral nerve block; lumbar plexus block; fascia iliaca block), single-shot local infiltration analgesia, intrathecal morphine and epidural analgesia also improved pain. Limited or inconsistent evidence was found for all other approaches evaluated. Surgical and anaesthetic techniques appear to have a minor impact on postoperative pain, and thus their choice should be based on criteria other than pain. In summary, the analgesic regimen for total hip arthroplasty should include pre-operative or intra-operative paracetamol and cyclo-oxygenase-2-selective inhibitors or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, continued postoperatively with opioids used as rescue analgesics. In addition, intra-operative intravenous dexamethasone 8–10 mg is recommended. Regional analgesic techniques such as fascia iliaca block or local infiltration analgesia are recommended, especially if there are contra-indications to basic analgesics and/or in patients with high expected postoperative pain. Epidural analgesia, femoral nerve block, lumbar plexus block and gabapentinoid administration are not recommended as the adverse effects outweigh the benefits. Although intrathecal morphine 0.1 mg can be used, the PROSPECT group emphasises the risks and side-effects associated with its use and provides evidence that adequate analgesia may be achieved with basic analgesics and regional techniques without intrathecal morphine.
- evidence-based medicine
- systematic review
- total hip arthroplasty
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine