Use of Epidural Analgesia in Children With Neuromuscular Conditions Following Hip Reconstruction

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Journal Article

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cerebral palsy; complications; epidural analgesia; hip surgery; postoperative pain


BACKGROUND: Neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy, are the most common motor disabilities in the pediatric population. Children with these conditions frequently have accompanying hip deformities that require pelvic and femur osteotomy to correct the spastic hip dislocations. However, postoperative pain management remains an elusive and challenging problem. The purpose of this study was to determine whether postoperative use of epidural analgesia in patients with neuromuscular conditions provided similar outcomes with regard to pain scores, length of stay, duration of foley placement, duration of pain control, and complications as compared to traditional pain management regimens. To our knowledge, this is the first study comparing the use of epidural analgesia to conventional pain relief modalities following hip reconstruction in patients with neuromuscular conditions. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed using records of pediatric patients with neuromuscular conditions treated at our tertiary care center between January 2009 and December 2019. Patients with neuromuscular conditions treated with epidural or non-epidural analgesia for pain relief following unilateral or bilateral proximal femoral osteotomies, pelvic osteotomies, or open hip reduction were eligible for study inclusion. Multiple linear regression was used to determine differences in length of stay, pain score, pain modality, duration of Foley placement, and complications between the two cohorts. RESULTS: Seventy patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. In all, 58 patients underwent unilateral procedures, of which 30 (52%) received epidural analgesia, and 28 (48%) received non-epidural pain control modalities. Demographic and baseline characteristics were similar among the cohort, except for BMI, which varied slightly. Average pain scores and pain control duration were not statistically different between the pain control modalities. After controlling for demographics, procedure, and immobilization type, the epidural group experienced significantly increased length of stay (+3.18 days, P=0.032) and duration of Foley placement (+1.04 days, P=.013). Complication rates between the two groups were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: The use of epidural analgesia in children with neuromuscular conditions was associated with comparable pain scores, despite the increased length of stay and duration of Foley placement. No statistically significant difference in complication rates was observed between patients receiving epidural anesthesia and those receiving traditional pain modalities.


Orthopaedic Surgery