The adductor canal block provides effective analgesia similar to a femoral nerve block in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty--a retrospective study

J Clin Anesth. 2015 Feb;27(1):39-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2014.08.005. Epub 2014 Nov 22.


Study objective: To determine the ability of an ultrasound-guided single-shot adductor canal block to provide adequate analgesia and improve performance during physical therapy.

Design: A retrospective chart review.

Setting: All procedures were performed at Ochsner Medical Center.

Measurements: Patient demographics as well as the type of peripheral nerve block performed. Pain scores and opioid consumption were recorded at postanesthesia care unit discharge and again at 8 ± 3, 16 ± 3, and 24 ± 3 hours. In addition, physical therapy performance was analyzed.

Main results: There were no significant differences in pain scores or cumulative hydromorphone requirements between the adductor canal block group and the femoral nerve block group at any of the time points analyzed. Gait distance measured during physical therapy sessions in the adductor canal block group was superior compared with the femoral nerve block group.

Conclusion: Within the first 24 hours, a single-shot adductor canal block provides equally effective analgesia when compared with a femoral nerve block and improves postoperative physical therapy performance.

Keywords: Acute pain management; Adductor canal block; Femoral nerve block; Regional anesthesia; Total knee arthroplasty.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Femoral Nerve
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods


  • Analgesics, Opioid