Spinal Compared with General Anesthesia in Contemporary Primary Total Hip Arthroplasties

Aaron R. Owen, Adam W. Amundson, Kristin M. Fruth, Christopher M. Duncan, Hugh M. Smith, Rebecca L. Johnson, Michael J. Taunton, Mark W. Pagnano, Daniel J. Berry, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:The specific advantages of spinal anesthesia compared with general anesthesia for primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) remains unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the pain control, length of stay, and postoperative outcomes associated with spinal anesthesia compared with general anesthesia in a large cohort of primary THAs from a single, high-volume academic institution.Methods:We retrospectively identified 13,730 primary THAs (11,319 patients) from 2001 to 2016 using our total joint registry. Of these cases, 58% had general anesthesia and 42% had spinal anesthesia. The demographic characteristics were similar between groups, with mean age of 64 years, 51% female, and mean body mass index (BMI) of 31 kg/m2. Data were analyzed using an inverse probability of treatment weighted model based on a propensity score that accounted for numerous patient and operative factors. The mean follow-up was 6 years.Results:Patients treated with spinal anesthesia had lower Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) scores (p < 0.001) and required fewer postoperative oral morphine equivalents (OMEs) at all time points evaluated (p < 0.001). Patients treated with spinal anesthesia also had shorter hospital length of stay (p = 0.02), fewer altered mental status events (odds ratio [OR], 0.7; p = 0.02), and fewer intensive care unit (ICU) admissions (OR, 0.7; p = 0.01). There was no difference in the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (p = 0.8), pulmonary embolism (p = 0.4), 30-day readmissions (p = 0.17), 90-day readmissions (p = 0.18), all-cause revisions (p = 0.17), or all-cause reoperations (p = 0.14).Conclusions:In this large, single-institution study, we found that spinal anesthesia was associated with reduced pain scores and OME use postoperatively. Furthermore, spinal anesthesia resulted in fewer altered mental status events and ICU admissions. These data favor the use of spinal anesthesia in primary THAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1542-1547
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 7 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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