Lumbar paravertebral nerve block in the management of pain after total hip and knee arthroplasty: a randomized controlled clinical trial

J Arthroplasty. 2002 Jun;17(4):398-401. doi: 10.1054/arth.2002.31079.


The accepted mode of pain management after total hip or knee arthroplasty is patient-controlled analgesia. This study evaluates the efficacy of lumbar paravertebral nerve block in diminishing postoperative pain when used as an adjunct to patient-controlled analgesia. A total of 115 arthroplasty patients received postoperatively a lumbar paravertebral nerve block (block, n = 57) or a sham procedure (control, n = 58). The block group required approximately 10 mg less morphine for pain control than the control group during the first 4 hours postoperatively (P<.001). There were no significant differences in morphine use between the groups 4 to 24 hours postoperatively. Visual analog scale pain score measurements at 4, 8, and 24 hours did not differ significantly between the groups. Paravertebral nerve block of the lumbar plexus is an invasive procedure with some risk. Considering the added risk and minimal benefits, routine use of this procedure is not supported.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Bupivacaine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Plexus*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine
  • Nerve Block*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*


  • Morphine
  • Bupivacaine