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We compared the approaches of Winnie and Capdevila for psoas compartment block (PCB) performed by a single operator in terms of contralateral spread, lumbar plexus blockade, and postoperative analgesic efficacy. Sixty patients underwent PCB (0.4 mL/kg levobupivacaine 0.5%) and subsequent spinal anesthesia for primary joint arthroplasty (hip or knee) in a prospective, double-blind study. Patients were randomly allocated to undergo PCB by using the Capdevila (group C; n = 30) or a modified Winnie (group W; n = 30) approach. Contralateral spread and lumbar plexus blockade were assessed 15, 30, and 45 min after PCB. Contralateral spread (bilateral from T4 to S5) and femoral and lateral cutaneous nerve block were evaluated by sensory testing, and obturator motor block was assessed. Bilateral anesthesia occurred in 10 patients in group C and 12 patients in group W (P = 0.8). Blockade of the femoral, lateral cutaneous, and obturator nerves was 90%, 93%, and 80%, respectively, for group C and 93%, 97%, and 90%, respectively, for group W (P > 0.05). No differences were found in PCB procedure time, pain scores, 24-h morphine consumption, or time to first morphine analgesia.