Beneficial impact of epidural anesthesia on recovery after outpatient arthroscopy

S. M. Parnass, R. McCarthy, B. R. Bach, E. R. Corey, S. Hasson, M. A. Werling, A. D. Ivankovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The ideal outpatient anesthetic provides analgesia, is readily reversible, has minimal complications, and allows for a prompt hospital discharge. Iatrogenic side effects, such as nausea/vomiting and pain, however, may hamper patient recovery and delay discharge. The influence of anesthesia [general (G) versus epidural (E)] was assessed in 260 patients (G = 181, E = 79) undergoing ambulatory knee arthroscopic surgery. Patients were studied before discharge and on follow-up (24 h) to evaluate the effect of the anesthetic technique. Discharge times were shorter in the E group (159 ± 6 min SEM E, compared with 208 ± 8 min SEM G), as was the incidence of pain (24.1% versus 49.7%), and nausea/vomiting (8.9% versus 32%) before discharge. Patient satisfaction was equal in the two groups. Our study shows that in select patients, epidural anesthesia is a viable alternative to general anesthesia for knee arthroscopy, offering the advantages of fewer side effects and earlier discharge times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • Discharge times
  • Epidural anesthesia
  • General anesthesia
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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