Efficacy of local infiltration anesthesia versus interscalene nerve blockade for total shoulder arthroplasty

Gary F. Updegrove, Christopher M. Stauch, Padmavathi Ponnuru, Allen R. Kunselman, April D. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Optimal modalities for pain control in shoulder arthroplasty are not yet established. Although regional nerve blockade has been a well-accepted modality, complications and rebound pain have led some surgeons to seek other pain control modalities. Local injection of anesthetics has recently gained popularity in joint arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and complication rate of a low-cost local anesthetic injection mixture for use in total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) compared with interscalene brachial plexus blockade. Methods: A total of 314 patients underwent TSA and were administered general anesthesia with either a local injection mixture (local infiltration anesthesia [LIA], n = 161) or peripheral nerve block (PNB, n = 144). Patient charts were retrospectively reviewed for postoperative pain scores, 24-hour opioid consumption, and 90-day postoperative complications. Results: Immediate postoperative pain scores were not significantly different between groups (P =.94). The LIA group demonstrated a trend toward lower pain scores at 24 hours postoperatively (P =.10). Opioid consumption during the first 24 hours following surgery was significantly reduced in the LIA group compared with the PNB group (P <.0001). There was a trend toward fewer postoperative nerve and cardiopulmonary complications in the LIA group than the PNB group (P =.22 and P =.40, respectively) Conclusion: Periarticular local injection mixtures provide comparable pain control to regional nerve blocks while reducing opioid use and postoperative complications following TSA. Local injection of a multimodal anesthetic solution is a viable option for pain management in TSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-361
Number of pages5
JournalJSES International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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