Anesthesia & Analgesia: October 2015 – Volume 121 – Issue 4 – p 1089–1096
Authors: Kallidaikurichi Srinivasan et al
BACKGROUND: Multiple passes and attempts while administering spinal anesthesia are associated with a greater incidence of postdural puncture headache, paraesthesia, and spinal hematoma. We hypothesized that the routine use of a preprocedural ultrasound-guided paramedian technique for spinal anesthesia would reduce the number of passes required to achieve entry into the subarachnoid space when compared with the conventional landmark-guided midline approach.
METHODS: One hundred consenting patients scheduled for elective total joint replacements (hip and knee) were randomized into group C (conventional) and group P (preprocedural ultrasound-guided paramedian technique) with 50 in each group. The patients were blinded to the study group. All spinal anesthetics were administered by a consultant anesthesiologist. In group C, spinal anesthetic was done via the midline approach using clinically palpated landmarks. In group P, a preprocedural ultrasound scan was used to mark the paramedian insertion site, and spinal anesthetic was performed via the paramedian approach.
RESULTS: The average number of passes (defined as the number of forward advancements of the spinal needle in a given interspinous space, i.e., withdrawal and redirection of spinal needle without exiting the skin) in group P was approximately 0.34 times that in group C, a difference that was statistically significant (P = 0.01). Similarly, the average number of attempts (defined as the number of times the spinal needle was withdrawn from the skin and reinserted) in group P was approximately 0.25 times that of group C (P = 0.0021). In group P, on an average, it took 81.5 (99% confidence interval, 68.4–97 seconds) seconds longer to identify the landmarks than in group C (P = 0.0002). All other parameters, including grading of palpated landmarks, time taken for spinal anesthetic injection, periprocedural pain scores, periprocedural patient discomfort visual analog scale score, conversion to general anesthetic, paresthesia, and radicular pain during needle insertion, were similar between the 2 groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Routine use of paramedian spinal anesthesia in the orthopedic patient population undergoing joint replacement surgery, guided by preprocedure ultrasound examination, significantly decreases the number of passes and attempts needed to enter the subarachnoid space.
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