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Clinical Trial Summary

The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a difference in patient outcomes with general anesthesia versus spinal anesthesia when given in addition to popliteal and adductor canal nerve blocks for foot and ankle surgery. Popliteal and adductor canal nerve blocks are injections of local anesthetic agents near nerves in the back and front of the knee going to the foot and ankle that provide numbness during and after surgery. These peripheral nerve blocks offer good pain control and reduce the need for opioids (opioids are pain medications such as morphine, Dilaudid, and oxycodone). General anesthesia involves the flow of oxygen and anesthesia gas through a tube which, along with additional intravenous medications, causes unconsciousness and unawareness of sensations during surgery. Spinal anesthesia involves an injection of local anesthetic in the lower back, which causes numbness below the waist. In addition to spinal anesthesia, a sedative is typically given intravenously to cause relaxation and sleepiness throughout surgery.

General, spinal, and nerve block anesthesia are all routinely used for surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery. General or spinal anesthesia is typically used in addition to peripheral nerve blocks during foot and ankle surgery to 1) allow the surgeons to use a thigh tourniquet to reduce bleeding, 2) provide anesthesia earlier, and 3) prevent unwanted movement. However, it is unclear whether general or spinal anesthesia provides better patient outcomes when given with peripheral nerve blocks. Some reports show that on its own, spinal anesthesia has advantages over general anesthesia in terms of side effects such as nausea and pain. However, these advantages may also be gained from combining peripheral nerve blocks with general anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia can be associated with headache and backache, although headache and backache can also happen after operations performed with general anesthesia. A previous study at the Hospital for Special Surgery showed low rates of nausea among patients who received nerve blocks with spinal anesthesia, and no nausea among patients who received a nerve block with general anesthesia. Therefore, the primary aim of this study is to determine if, as a treatment, either general or spinal anesthesia has advantages over the other treatment in terms of readiness for discharge, side effects, pain and patient satisfaction in an ambulatory foot and ankle population.

Clinical Trial Description


Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT02996591
Study type Interventional
Source Hospital for Special Surgery, New York
Status Completed
Phase Phase 4
Start date January 2017
Completion date May 2017

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