Background and objective: The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of adding 50 microg of morphine, 25 microg of fentanyl or saline to 6 mg of hyperbaric bupivacaine on postoperative analgesia and time to urination in patients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery under spinal anesthesia.
Methods: The study was designed in a prospective, randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled manner. Sixty ASA I-II patients were randomized into the following three groups: Group BM: 6 mg of bupivacaine and 50 microg of morphine, Group BF: 6 mg of bupivacaine and 25 microg of fentanyl, and Group BS: 6 mg of bupivacaine and saline. Selective spinal anesthesia was performed in a lateral decubitus position, with the operative knee dependent for 10 min.
Results: In all groups satisfactory anesthesia was provided during the operation. There was a statistically significant difference between all the groups in times to voiding [Group BM 422 +/- 161 min; Group BF 244 +/- 163 min; Group BS 183 +/- 54 min (mean +/- SD)]. The incidence of pruritus was significantly greater in Group BM (80%) and BF (65%) in comparison with Group BS (no pruritus) (P < 0.05). The incidence of nausea was significantly increased in Group BM (35%) in comparison with Group BF (10%) and Group BS (P < 0.05). Analgesic consumption was significantly greater in Group BS in comparison with Groups BM and BF (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: We conclude that during spinal anesthesia even mini-dose intrathecal morphine is not acceptable for outpatient surgery due to side-effects, especially severely prolonged time to urination.