Comparison of Conventional Infrainguinal Versus Modified Proximal Suprainguinal Approach of Fascia Iliaca Compartment Block for Postoperative Analgesia in Total Hip Arthroplasty. A Prospective Randomized Study

Acta Anaesthesiol Belg. 2015;66(3):95-100.


Fascia Iliaca Compartment Block (FICB) has been widely used as a postoperative analgesic adjunct to opioids for total hip arthroplasty (THA), either by the conventional infrainguinal approach or the modified proximal suprainguinal approach irrespective of any specific advantage of one over the other. This study was conducted to compare the analgesic efficacy of the two techniques of FICB for postoperative analgesia. The 40 patients scheduled for THA were recruited for Intervention (s) and randomized to receive FICB either by suprainguinal approach (group S) or infrainguinal approach (group I) for postoperative analgesia with 40 ml of 0.2% bupivacaine, in addition to postoperative patient controlled analgesia (PCA) with morphine. Visual analogue scale (VAS) and PCA morphine consumption was used to assess the postoperative pain at 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours. The primary outcome was cumulative PCA morphine consumption in 24 hours. The pain intensity as measured by VAS scores showed significant reduction of intensity at 6 hours post block in group S as compared to group I (median [IQR]; 2[0-3]; 3[2.25-3]; p = 0.001) but, there was no significant difference in VAS at 12 and 24 hours. Postoperatively, there was significant difference in time to first PCA morphine demand (356.28 ± 33.32 vs 291.48 ± 37.17, p = < 0.001, respectively) in-group S vs. group I. The postoperative morphine consumption was also significantly less in group S compared to group I at 6, 12 and 24 hours and the cumulative morphine consumption in 24 hours (6.95 ± 2.14 vs 10.50 ± 2.24, p = < 0.001 respectively) was also less. In conclusion, in THA, suprainguinal approach of FICB has a superior postoperative analgesic efficacy compared to infrainguinal approach of FICB along with significantly less morphine consumption in first 24 hours.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Fascia
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine / administration & dosage
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Morphine