Fascia Iliaca Block in Hip and Femur Fractures to Reduce Opioid Use



      Fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB) has become a keystone technique for acute pain management in patients with hip and proximal femur fractures.


      To demonstrate that administering FICB preoperatively to patients with hip or proximal femur fractures in the emergency department (ED) is likely to reduce opioid use and related complications, and to decrease hospital length of stay (LOS).


      An unblinded study of adult patients with hip and proximal femur fractures who consented to receive an FICB with 30 cc of bupivacaine with epinephrine administered in the ED. We compared this group with a contemporaneous group of controls who only received systemic opioids. Over the course of approximately 6 months, main outcome measured between the two groups was amount of morphine equivalents given from block administration until 8 h after. We also compared complications such as delirium, constipation, and bleeding rates (oozing from injection site or hematoma formation).


      A total of 166 patients with hip and proximal femur fractures from August 12, 2018 to April 25, 2021; 81 received FICB plus systemic opioids, and 85 received only systemic opioids. Among the FICB group, morphine equivalents were reduced by 0.6 mg/h with no significant difference in LOS. A statistically significant difference in opioid-related adverse outcomes was found between the anticoagulated group vs. the no anticoagulation group.


      FICB is a safe and effective preoperative technique for initial pain management in patients with hip and proximal femur fractures, as it can also be used with additional systemic opioids. FICB administration may reduce systemic opioid use preoperatively, thus reducing opioid-related adverse effects with no significant impact on hospital LOS.


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