Background: This study aims to evaluate the use of popliteal sciatic nerve block (PSNB) on pain and functional outcome following hallux valgus (HV) surgery.
Materials and methods: This retrospective review of 100 patients who underwent surgery by a single surgeon for symptomatic HV was categorized into two groups: 50 who received general anesthesia (GA) while the other 50 received an ultrasound-guided PSNB. The following outcome measures were then collected: visual analog scale (VAS), American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS), and RAND 36-Item Health Survey scores.
Results: The 24-hour postoperative VAS score for the PSNB group was significantly lower than the GA group (0.66 vs 1.04, p = 0.035). Similarly, the average hourly VAS score in the immediate 6 hours after surgery for the PSNB group was significantly lower than the GA group (0.28 vs 0.49, p = 0.001). The VAS score for the PSNB group was significantly lower than the GA group at 6 months postoperatively (1.78 vs 0.50, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The use of popliteal sciatic nerve block in hallux valgus surgery significantly reduces postoperative pain up to 6 months postsurgery when compared to general anesthesia alone.
Clinical significance: Popliteal sciatic nerve block can improve patients’ postoperative pain and function while reducing the need for oral or intravenous analgesics.
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