A prospective study was done on 99 consecutive patients who underwent distraction elbow arthroplasty and postoperative continuous passive motion from 1986 to 1992. Postoperative axillary catheter infusion in 73 patients was compared with patient-controlled analgesia-opioid treatment in 26 patients. Group comparisons for analgesia, complications, time to initiation, and tolerance of postoperative continuous passive motion were made. The postoperative axillary catheter infusion group was more comfortable and had better postoperative continous passive motion compliance than did the patient-controlled analgesia-opioid group. The postoperative axillary catheter infusion group had a 2.7% (2 of 73) incidence of respiratory toxicity. There was an 11.5% (3 of 26) incidence of respiratory depression in the patient-controlled analgesia-opioid group. Final arc range of motion was similar between postoperative axillary catheter infusion and patient-controlled analgesia-opioid groups. The data support the hypothesis that postoperative axillary catheter infusion provides better patient comfort and earlier postoperative continuous passive motion initiation, but they do not show additional improvement in the final arc of motion after distraction elbow arthroplasty as compared with a patient-controlled analgesia-opioid treatment group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine