HealthDay News — Severe pain is common after hip fracture surgery, and spinal anesthesia is associated with greater pain in the first 24 hours after surgery, according to a study published online June 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mark D. Neuman, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues compared pain, analgesic use, and satisfaction after hip fracture surgery with spinal vs general anesthesia in a preplanned secondary analysis of patients aged 50 years or older undergoing hip fracture surgery. A total of 1600 patients (average age, 78 years) were enrolled and underwent spinal or general anesthesia.

The researchers found that 73.5% of the patients reported severe pain during the first 24 hours after surgery. Greater worst pain during the first 24 hours after surgery was seen with spinal anesthesia (mean difference, 0.40). At other time points, pain did not differ between the groups. At 60 days, prescription analgesic use occurred in 25 and 18.8% of patients assigned to spinal and general anesthesia, respectively. Across groups, satisfaction was similar.

“Our findings add to available data on patient experiences after spinal vs general anesthesia for hip fracture surgery,” the authors write. “Clinicians and policymakers should prioritize efforts to improve pain care after hip fracture surgery.”

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)