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Case report: unusual complication during outpatient continuous regional popliteal analgesia


Saporito, Andrea; Sturini, Evelina; Petri, John; Borgeat, Alain; Aguirre, José (2012). Case report: unusual complication during outpatient continuous regional popliteal analgesia. Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia = Journal Canadien d'Anesthésie, 59(10):958-962.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Continuous regional anesthesia applied as pain therapy at home is clinically established standard practice after upper and lower limb surgery. Persistent motor block at discharge or after continuous infusion of local anesthetics, however, might lead to complications related to the insensate extremity. We report a rare case of a foot fracture due to stumbling after continuous sciatic nerve block at home and discuss the related clinical implications. CLINICAL FEATURES: After uncomplicated ambulatory foot surgery under regional anesthesia, a patient was discharged with a continuous sciatic popliteal nerve block for pain therapy at home. After stumbling, the patient remained symptom-free even until catheter removal three days after surgery. Radiography done one week after surgery revealed a styloid fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone. Her subsequent recovery was uneventful. CONCLUSIONS: The true incidence of complications related to falls at home associated with lower extremity blockade remains unknown, as symptoms of possible complications may be masked by the effects of the local anesthetic. However, with increasing use of postoperative regional anesthesia, it is mandatory to develop and adhere to clinical care maps, and to elaborate and teach strategies to further enhance patient safety.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Continuous regional anesthesia applied as pain therapy at home is clinically established standard practice after upper and lower limb surgery. Persistent motor block at discharge or after continuous infusion of local anesthetics, however, might lead to complications related to the insensate extremity. We report a rare case of a foot fracture due to stumbling after continuous sciatic nerve block at home and discuss the related clinical implications. CLINICAL FEATURES: After uncomplicated ambulatory foot surgery under regional anesthesia, a patient was discharged with a continuous sciatic popliteal nerve block for pain therapy at home. After stumbling, the patient remained symptom-free even until catheter removal three days after surgery. Radiography done one week after surgery revealed a styloid fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone. Her subsequent recovery was uneventful. CONCLUSIONS: The true incidence of complications related to falls at home associated with lower extremity blockade remains unknown, as symptoms of possible complications may be masked by the effects of the local anesthetic. However, with increasing use of postoperative regional anesthesia, it is mandatory to develop and adhere to clinical care maps, and to elaborate and teach strategies to further enhance patient safety.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:28 Feb 2013 12:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:34
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0832-610X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12630-012-9758-9
PubMed ID:22829027

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