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Five-year follow-up to assess long-term sustainability of changing clinical practice regarding anesthesia and regional analgesia for lower extremity arthroplasty.

Tamboli M, Leng JC, Hunter OO, Kou A, Mudumbai SC, Memtsoudis SG, Walters TL, Lochbaum GM, Mariano ER. Five-year follow-up to assess long-term sustainability of changing clinical practice regarding anesthesia and regional analgesia for lower extremity arthroplasty. Korean journal of anesthesiology. 2020 Oct 1; 73(5):401-407.

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Abstract:

Background: Long-term and sustainable clinical practice changes in anesthesia procedures have not previously been reported. Therefore, we performed a 5-year audit following implementation of a clinical pathway change favoring spinal anesthesia for total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We similarly evaluated a parallel cohort of patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA), who did not undergo a clinical pathway change, and studied utilization rates of continuous peripheral nerve block (CPNB). METHODS: We identified all primary unilateral TKA and THA cases completed from January 2013 through December 2018, thereby including clinical pathway change data from one-year pre-implementation to 5-years post-implementation. Our primary outcome was the overall application rate of spinal anesthesia. Secondary outcomes included CPNB utilization rate, 30-day postoperative complications, and resource utilization variables such as hospital readmission, emergency department visits, and blood transfusions. RESULTS: The sample included 1,859 cases, consisting of 1,250 TKAs and 609 THAs. During the initial year post-implementation, 174/221 (78.7%) TKAs received spinal anesthesia compared to 23/186 (12.4%) cases the year before implementation (P < 0.001). During the following 4-year period, 647/843 (77.2%) TKAs received spinal anesthesia (P = 0.532 vs. year 1). The number of THA cases receiving spinal anesthesia the year after implementation was 78/124 (62.9%), compared to 48/116 (41.4%) pre-implementation (P = 0.001); however, the rate decreased over the following 4-year period to 193/369 (52.3%) (P = 0.040 vs. year 1). CPNB use was high in both groups, and there were no differences in 30-day postoperative complications, hospital readmission, emergency department visits, or blood transfusions. CONCLUSIONS: A clinical pathway change promoting spinal anesthesia for TKA can be effectively implemented and sustained over a 5-year period.





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