To investigate the safety and cost-effectiveness of interscalene brachial plexus block/regional anaesthesia (ISB-RA) in patients undergoing reverse total shoulder replacement.
This retrospective study included 15 patients with symptomatic rotator cuff arthropathy who underwent reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) under ISB-RA without general anaesthesia in the beach chair position from 2010 to 2018. The mean patient age was 77 years (range 59–82 years). Patients had associated medical comorbidities: American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade 2–4. Assessed parameters were: duration of anaesthesia, intra-operative systolic blood pressure variation, sedation and vasopressor use, duration of post-operative recovery, recovery scores, length of stay, and complications. A robust cost analysis was also performed.
The mean (range) duration of anaesthesia was 38.66 (20–60) min. Maximum and minimum intra-operative systolic blood pressure ranges were 130–210 and 75–145 mmHg, respectively (mean [range] drop, 74.13 [33–125] mmHg). Mean (range) propofol dose was 1.74 (1–3.0) mg/kg/h. The Median (interquartile range) post-operative recovery time was 30 (20–50) min. The mean (range) postoperative recovery score (local scale, range 5–28 where lower values are superior) was 5.2 (5–8). The mean (range) length of stay was 8 (1–20 days); the two included patients with ASA grade 2 were both discharged within 24 hours. One patient with predisposing history developed pneumonia; however, there were no complications related to ISB-RA. The mean (range) cost per patient was £101.36 (£59.80-£132.20).
Our data demonstrate that rTSA under ISB-RA is safe, cost-effective and a potentially viable alternative for patients with multiple comorbidities. Notably, patients with ASA grade 2 who underwent rTSA under ISB-RA had a reduced length of stay and were discharged within 24 hours.