The aim of our study was to compare the recovery characteristics of single-dose spinal and epidural anesthesia with 2 % prilocaine for outpatient knee arthroscopy.
Methods: Forty patients were randomly assigned to receive either spinal or epidural with prilocaine. Maximum sensory level, recovery of the motor and sensorial functions, time to ambulate, time to voiding, side effects, and medications used for treatment were recorded. After 48 hours, the patients were questioned for pain and need for analgesia, their opinion about the quality of anesthesia, side effects such as nausea, vomiting, pruritus, backache, post-dural puncture headache (PDPH), urinary difficulties and transient neurological symptoms (TNS).
Results: Maximum sensory level was similar in the groups. The time from injection to recovery of motor and sensory functions and ambulation time were significantly shorter in the epidural group than the spinal group (p < 0.05). The percentage of patients who required additional analgesic was 9% versus 6% in spinal versus epidural groups. One of the patients in the spinal group had PDPH postoperatively. None of the patients had postoperative nausea, vomiting, pruritus, backache, urinary difficulties or TNS.
Conclusion: Relatively fast recovery time make epidural anesthesia with prilocaine a good alternative for outpatient knee arthroscopy.