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Dexamethasone added to Local Lidocaine for Infiltration along the Spinal-Epidural Needle Pathway Decreases Incidence and Severity of Backache after Gynecological Surgery

Wei Gao, Yi Ren, Guang Xiao Cui

Department of Anesthesiology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:821-827

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.892620

Available online:

Published: 2015-03-18

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dexamethasone added to local lidocaine infiltration on incidence and severity of backache after combined spinal-epidural anesthesia for gynecological surgery.
Material and Methods: We randomly allocated 160 patients to receive either local lidocaine infiltration along the pathway of the spinal-epidural needle (Group L) or local dexamethasone and lidocaine infiltration (Group DL). The incidence and scores for back pain were evaluated on the first, second, and third day (acute lumbago) and first, second, and sixth month (chronic lumbago) after surgery. Fentanyl consumption for management of back pain was recorded.
Results: The incidence of acute, subacute, and chronic back pain was significantly lower in the DL group than the L group (P<0.05 for all comparisons). The VAS score for back pain on the first and second day and first and second month, were significantly lower in the DL group than the L group (P=0.0028, P=0.017; P<0.001, both), but there were no significant differences on the third day and sixth month. Fentanyl consumption in the first 3 postoperative days was significantly lower in the DL group than in the L group (P<0.001). The incidence of back pain during the first, second, and sixth month in patients who did not have preoperative lumbago were significantly lower in the DL group than in the L group (P<0.001, both).
Conclusions: Addition of dexamethasone to local lidocaine infiltration effectively decreases the incidence and severity of back pain after combined spinal-epidural anesthesia implemented for gynecological surgery.

Keywords: Anesthesia, Epidural - adverse effects, Adult, Anesthesia, Spinal - adverse effects, Anesthetics, Local - therapeutic use, Back Pain - etiology, Dexamethasone - therapeutic use, Fentanyl - therapeutic use, Gynecologic Surgical Procedures - adverse effects, Incidence, Lidocaine, Needles, Pain Measurement