Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Suzanne Wright


Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction utilizing a hamstring autograft is a surgical technique that has gained popularity among orthopedic surgeons caring for adolescent patients. While utilization of a hamstring autograft is a revered technique, harvest of the hamstring yields significant pain. Sciatic peripheral nerve blockade has proven to reliably provide analgesia at the hamstring donor site. Single-injection sciatic peripheral nerve blockade is considered a basic and effective technique, making its use following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction standard practice in many institutions. The duration of action of a single-injection sciatic peripheral nerve blockade may fail to outlast the pain arising from the hamstring donor site, prompting some clinicians to employ continuous sciatic peripheral nerve blockade via an indwelling catheter. A lack of comparative effectiveness studies exists in the literature regarding the duration of action of peripheral nerve blockade necessary to adequately provide pain control following hamstring autograft harvest, resulting in disagreement among clinicians as to best pain control practices. Proponents of continuous sciatic peripheral nerve blockade assert that while more costly, the extended duration of analgesia afforded by this technique improves pain control postoperatively and decreases the use of other pain medications. Advocates of single-injection sciatic peripheral nerve blockade cite concerns associated with continuous sciatic peripheral nerve blockade known to be detrimental to rehabilitation, such as decreased active knee flexion and increased risk of falls. The purpose of this research is to compare the effect of single-injection sciatic PNB to continuous sciatic PNB on 1) postoperative pain control as measured by self-reported pain scores, pain medication use, and unplanned hospital admission due to poor pain control, 2) active knee flexion, and 3) patient satisfaction with pain control following ACL reconstruction with a hamstring autograft. The findings of this study have the potential to guide informed clinical reasoning and decision making regarding sciatic peripheral nerve blockade techniques following hamstring autograft harvest in adolescents undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.


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