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doi: https://doi.org/10.15441/ceem.23.112    [Accepted]
Femoral Nerve Blocks versus Standard Pain Control for Hip Fractures: A Retrospective Comparative Analysis
Solomon Geizhals1, You Shou2, Josh Greenstein1 , Barry Hahn1 , Jerel Chacko1 , Joseph Basile1 , Joseph Marino2
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY
2Department of Anesthesiology, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, Valley Stream, NY
Correspondence  Josh Greenstein Fax: 718-226-9158, Email: jgreenstein1@northwell.edu
Received: August 22, 2023. Revised: November 21, 2023.  Accepted: November 27, 2023. Published online: January 29, 2024.
Pain control for hip fractures is often achieved via intravenous opioids. However, opioids can have dangerous adverse effects, including respiratory depression and delirium. Peripheral nerve blockade is an alternative option for pain control, which reduces the need for opioid analgesia. The purpose of this study was to compare the use of femoral nerve blocks versus standard pain control for patients with hip fractures.
This retrospective study included adult patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with isolated hip fractures between April 2021 and September 2022. The intervention group included all patients who received a femoral nerve block during this time. An equivalent number of patients who received standard pain control during that period were randomly selected to represent the control group. The primary outcome was pre-operative opioid requirement, assessed by morphine milligram equivalents (MME).
During the study period, 90 patients were identified in each treatment group. Mean pre-operative MME was 10.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.4–13.2 MME) for the intervention group and 14.0 (95% CI: 10.2–17.8) for the control group (P=0.13). Patients who received a femoral nerve block also had shorter time from ED triage to hospital discharge (7.2 days, 95% CI: 6.2–8.0 days) than patients who received standard care (8.6 days, 95% CI: 7.2–10.0 days). Still, this difference was not statistically significant (P=0.09).
Femoral nerve blockade is a safe and effective alternative to opioids for pain control in patients with hip fractures.
Keywords: Hip fracture; nerve block; analgesia; ultrasound
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