The Pharmacokinetics and Efficacy of Ropivacaine Continuous Wound Instillation After Spine Fusion Surgery

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Because local anesthetic continuous wound instillation has not been evaluated after spine fusion surgery, we designed this study to determine whether this technique could enhance analgesia and improve patient outcome after posterior lumbar arthrodesis. Thirty-eight patients undergoing spine stabilization were randomly divided into two groups. The M group received a postoperative baseline IV infusion of morphine plus ketorolac for 24 h, and the R group received IV saline. In both groups, a multihole 16-gauge catheter was placed subcutaneously; in the R group, the wound was infiltrated with a solution of ropivacaine 0.5% 200 mg/40 mL, and infusion of ropivacaine 0.2% 5 mL/h was maintained for 55 h. In the M group, saline infusion was given at the same rate. Pain scores were taken at rest and on passive mobilization by nurses blinded to patient analgesic treatment. The total plasma ropivacaine concentration was evaluated. Pain scores and rescue medication requirements (diclofenac and tramadol) were significantly less in the R group than in the M group. Postoperative blood loss was less and the length of hospital stay was shorter in the R group. The ropivacaine peak total plasma concentration occurred at 24 h during infusion and was within safe limits; no toxic local anesthetic side effects were observed. These results suggest that wound infiltration and continuous instillation of ropivacaine 0.2% is effective for pain management after spine stabilization surgery.

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