A Randomized Trial of the Traditional Sitting Position Versus the Hamstring Stretch Position for Labor Epidural Needle Placement

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BACKGROUND:Anecdotal and experimental evidence suggest that a sitting position with maximum knee extension, hip adduction, and forward lean (hamstring stretch position) may produce better reversal of the lumbar lordosis than a traditional sitting position.METHODS:In a randomized trial during initiation of epidural labor analgesia, we compared the traditional versus hamstring stretch positions. The primary outcome was the number of needle-bone contacts.RESULTS:The groups were equivalent with respect to the number of needle-bone contacts.CONCLUSIONS:The hamstring stretch position is equivalent to the traditional sitting position in terms of the number of needle-bone contacts encountered when placing labor epidural needles.

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