Continuous femoral blocks improve recovery and outcome of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty

J Arthroplasty. 2001 Jun;16(4):436-45. doi: 10.1054/arth.2001.23622.


This study was designed to determine the effects of continuous femoral infusion (CFI) on total knee arthroplasty recovery. A total of 92 patients were distributed in 3 groups: Patients in group 1 received general anesthesia followed by patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with morphine (n = 33), patients in group 2 received 3-in-1 and sciatic blocks followed by CFI (n = 29), and patients in group 3 received epidural analgesia (n = 30). Blocks reduced postoperative morphine requirement by 74% (vs group 1; P<.05) and 35% (vs group 3; P<.05). Blocks provided better recovery than PCA with morphine or an epidural. The use of CFI was associated with a reduction of postoperative bleeding by 72% (vs group 1; P<.05) and allowed better performance on continuous passive motion. CFI was associated with a 90% decrease in serious complications and a 20% decrease in the length of hospitalization. CFI represents a better alternative than PCA or epidural analgesia for postoperative pain management and immediate rehabilitation after total knee arthroplasty.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled*
  • Anesthesia, Epidural*
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anesthetics, Local