Epidural anesthesia as a novel anesthetic technique for anterior lumbar interbody fusion

Kristopher M. Schroeder*, Cameron Zahed, Adi C. Andrei, Seungbong Han, Michael P. Ford, Thomas A. Zdeblick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To determine if epidural anesthesia is a reasonable technique for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Academic university hospital. Measurements: The charts of patients who underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion between January 1, 2001 and November 1, 2008 were reviewed. A total of 102 consecutive patients, of whom 19 received an epidural and 83 underwent general anesthesia, met inclusion criteria. Postoperative pain, nausea, opioid administration, operating room time, anesthesia time, Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU) time, and total hospital time were compared. Main Results: In the PACU, patients receiving epidural anesthesia showed reductions in median immediate [numerical rating scale (NRS) 0 vs 7; P < 0.001] and peak (NRS 4 vs 8; P = 0.001) postoperative pain scores, and postoperative mean arterial pressure (69.7 vs 90.3; P < 0.001). Epidural anesthesia patients also needed significantly less intravenous morphine-equivalent medication both intraoperatively (5 vs 29; P < 0.001) and postoperatively (3.34 vs 10; P = 0.021). Conclusions: Epidural anesthesia for anterior lumbar interbody fusion is potentially beneficial compared with general anesthesia, showing improved perioperative pain control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • Anesthesia: epidural, neuraxial
  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Spinal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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