More Predictable Return of Motor Function with Mepivacaine Versus Bupivacaine Spinal Anesthetic in Total Hip and Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Double-Blinded, Randomized Clinical Trial

Cody C. Wyles, Mark W. Pagnano, Robert T. Trousdale, Rafael J. Sierra, Michael J. Taunton, Kevin I. Perry, Dirk R. Larson, Adam W. Amundson, Hugh M. Smith, Christopher M. Duncan, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Spinal anesthesia provides several benefits for patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), but historically comes at the cost of slow and unpredictable return of lower-extremity motor function related to the use of long-acting local anesthetics. In this prospective, double-blinded, randomized clinical trial we sought to determine if an alternative local anesthetic, mepivacaine, would allow more consistent return of motor function compared with low-dose bupivacaine spinal anesthesia during primary THA and TKA. METHODS: This trial was conducted at a single academic institution. Prior to trial initiation an internal pilot study determined that 154 patients were required to achieve 80% power. Patients were randomized in a 1:1 fashion with use of advanced computerized stratification based on procedure, age group, sex, and body mass index. Following the surgical procedure, motor function was assessed every 15 minutes in the nonoperative lower extremity according to the Bromage scale and discontinued once Bromage 0 was achieved (spontaneous movement at hip, knee, and ankle). RESULTS: Return of lower-extremity function was more predictable in patients who received mepivacaine than in those who received low-dose bupivacaine. Among patients who received mepivacaine, 1% achieved motor function return beyond 5 hours compared with 11% of patients who received bupivacaine (p = 0.013). The mean time to return of lower-extremity motor function was 26 minutes quicker in patients who received mepivacaine (185 minutes; 95% confidence interval, 174 to 196 minutes) compared with low-dose bupivacaine (210 minutes; 95% confidence interval, 193 to 228 minutes) (p = 0.016). There were no significant differences in safety outcomes including pain scores, time to participation in physical therapy, incidence of orthostatic hypotension, urinary retention, or transient neurologic symptoms in patients receiving mepivacaine compared with low-dose bupivacaine. CONCLUSIONS: In patients undergoing primary THA and TKA, spinal anesthesia with mepivacaine allowed more consistent return of lower-extremity motor function compared with low-dose bupivacaine, without a concomitant increase in complications potentially associated with spinal anesthetics. This is particularly of value in an era of short-stay and outpatient surgical procedures. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1615
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume
Volume102
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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