eISSN: 1731-2531
ISSN: 1642-5758
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 56
Original article

Ultrasound-guided suprainguinal fascia iliaca block to position the patient for neuraxial anaesthesia in acetabular surgery – a randomized controlled pilot study

Fathima Mohammed Ali
Arshad Ayub
Vanlal Darlong
Ravinder Kumar Pandey
Jyotsana Punj
Vijay Sharma

  1. Department of Anaesthesia, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Sri Aurobindo Marg, Ansari Nagar, Ansari Nagar East, New Delhi, Delhi, India
  2. Department of Orthopaedics, Jaiprakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Sri Aurobindo Marg, Ansari Nagar, Ansari Nagar East, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2024; 56, 1: 54–60
Online publish date: 2024/03/29
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Neuraxial anaesthesia is a common choice for most hip and lower limb operations. Pain associated with positioning is often a deterrent, and the vast literature suggests different regional blocks and opioids for these patients. Patients with acetabular fractures may experience increased pain, and thus are more difficult to position for the neuraxial block. We conducted a randomized controlled pilot study to assess and compare the analgesic efficacy of ultrasound-guided suprainguinal fascia iliaca block (SFICB) versus systemic fentanyl to facilitate positioning for combined spinal epidural (CSE) anaesthesia in patients undergoing acetabular fracture surgery.

Material and methods:
Twenty patients referred for surgical repair of acetabular fractures were randomly assigned to receive either ultrasound-guided SFICB (group B) or intravenous fentanyl (group F). Changes in visual analogue scale (VAS) scores in supine and sitting position, improvement in sitting angle (SA), positioning quality, rescue analgesic requirement, total opioid consumption, comfort VAS scores, and complications were noted to compare both groups.

The post-intervention VAS score in the sitting position was significantly lower in group B than in group F (5.9 ± 2.1 vs. 3.5 ± 1.5, P = 0.01). Group B also had more significant improvement in SA (27.5° (20.75–36.5°), in comparison to group F (10 (5–18.75), P = 0.006). The positioning quality was better in group B, with 70% of patients achieving an optimal position compared to only 10% in group F (P = 0.02).

Ultrasound-guided SFICB, as compared to systemic fentanyl, provided better analgesia and helped to achieve a better and more comfortable position to perform the neuraxial block.


suprainguinal fascia iliaca block, acetabular fractures, neuraxial positioning

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