Does Age Play a Role in Rebound Pain?

    In an exploratory observational study, Rune Sort, MD, and his colleagues from Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University, in Herlev, Denmark, wanted to determine (1) whether rebound pain following cessation of a peripheral nerve block is a clinical problem, and (2) whether it varies by age group in patients undergoing primary open reduction and internal fixation for ankle fractures.

    They included 21 patients in the study, with ages ranging from 20 years to 83 years. All patients received an ultrasound-guided popliteal block and a mid-femoral saphenal block with ropivacaine. Patients recorded their pain scores every 3 hours for 24 hours postoperatively.

    We interviewed Dr. Sort at the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ annual meeting in San Diego, California, and he said the answer to both questions was yes: rebound pain is an issue in this patient population, and younger patients – defined as younger than age 60 – were significantly more likely to experience severe rebound pain on cessation of the peripheral nerve block.

    These implications of these findings, he said, are being explored in a larger randomized study he and his colleagues are currently conducting.

    Click the image above to hear Dr. Sort’s comments on the study.

    Producer: Susan Doan-Johnson; Director: Michael Szuch; Post Production: Michael Bugera