Local Infiltration Analgesia Versus Peripheral Nerve Block Anaesthesia in Total Knee Arthroplasty

A Pharmaco-economic Comparison

Michael Borck; Jan D. Wandrey; Moritz Höft; Joanna Kastelik; Carsten Perka; Sascha Tafelski; Sascha Treskatsch


BMC Anesthesiol. 2022;22(80) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: A superior analgesic method in perioperative pain-management of patients receiving total knee arthroplasty is the subject of controversial debate. Although higher cost-efficiency is claimed for the local infiltration analgesia (LIA), there is a lack of data on its costs compared to peripheral nerve block anaesthesia (PNBA). The goal of this study was to investigate the differences in immediate perioperative costs between the LIA and PNBA in treatment of patients receiving total knee arthroplasty.

Methods: The comparison was conducted based on a randomized controlled clinical trial examining 40 patients with elective, primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA, 20 patients with LIA and 20 patients with PNBA). The analysis included surgical case costs, anaesthesiological case costs, material, costs of postoperative opioid requirements and catheter review visits for patients receiving PNBA.

Results: The overall mean costs for the LIA-group were 4328.72€ and 4368.12€ for the PNBA (p = 0.851). While there was no statistically significant difference in surgical case costs, the anaesthesiological costs were lower with the LIA procedure (1370.26€ vs. 1542.45€, p = 0.048). Material costs in the LIA group were 4.18€/patient and 94.64€/patient with the PNBA. Costs for postoperative opioid requirements showed no statistically significant difference between the two procedures.

Conclusions: There is no relevant difference in immediate perioperative costs between LIA and PNBA. Shorter induction times lead to lower anaesthesiological case costs with the LIA. Overall economic aspects seem to play a less important role for determining an adequate procedure for perioperative pain management.

Trial Registration: The study was approved by the ethics-review-board of Charité Hospital Berlin (Ethikausschuss 4, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, on 16th February 2017) and registered with data safety authorities. Study patients provided written informed consent to participate in the trial. Study registry: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03114306.