Anaesthesia for treating distal radial fracture in adults

Evidence Summaries

Level of Evidence = B
Intravenous regional anesthesia appears to give better analgesia than haematoma block in radial fracture. Haematoma block is quicker and easier to perform and less resource intensive.

A Cochrane review 1 included 18 studies with at least 1200, mainly female and older, patients with fractures of the distal radius.

Five trials provided evidence that, when compared with haematoma block, intravenous regional anesthesia provided better analgesia during fracture manipulation and enabled better and easier reduction of the fracture, with some indication of a reduced risk of later redislocation or need for re-reduction. In contrast, haematoma block was quicker and easier to perform and less resource intensive.

References

1. Handoll HH, Madhok R, Dodds C. Anaesthesia for treating distal radial fracture in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;(3):CD003320.  [PMID:12137688]


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