Background: Short-acting spinal anesthetics enable rapid recovery after hip and knee arthroplasty; however, concerns with transient neurological symptoms (TNS) cause some to avoid using lidocaine. Postoperative urinary retention (POUR) is also a concern with spinal anesthesia. We sought to study the comparative rates of TNS and POUR between lidocaine, mepivacaine, and bupivacaine in a high-volume hip and knee arthroplasty setting. Methods: Data for 1,217 primary THA, TKA, and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty cases were reviewed and grouped by spinal anesthetic agent (lidocaine, mepivacaine, or bupivacaine). Of the 1,217 cases, utilization was 523 lidocaine, 573 mepivacaine, and 121 bupivacaine. The incidence of TNS and POUR requiring catheterization was measured both by clinical evaluation as well as a questionnaire sent to patients 14 days postoperatively. Results: The overall rate of TNS was 8%. With the numbers available, there was no difference in rates of TNS between groups (6.9% lidocaine, 9.2% mepivacaine, and 4.1% bupivacaine; P = .297). There was no difference in rates of TNS or POUR between THA and TKA/unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. Bupivacaine had a significantly higher rate of urinary retention (9.1%; P < .001) than mepivacaine (2.8%) or lidocaine (1.5%). Conclusion: This study showed no difference in the rate of TNS between the 3 common agents used in spinal anesthesia. Short-acting spinal anesthetics such as lidocaine and mepivacaine can lower the rate of POUR requiring catheterization, helping to enable rapid recovery after hip and knee arthroplasty.
- hip arthroplasty
- knee arthroplasty
- postoperative urinary retention
- spinal anesthesia
- transient neurologic symptoms