Epidemiology, trends, and disparities in regional anaesthesia for orthopaedic surgery

C. Cozowicz, J. Poeran, S. G. Memtsoudis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Recent studies have linked the use of regional anaesthesia to improved outcomes. Epidemiological research on utilization, trends, and disparities in this field is sparse; however, large nationally representative database constructs containing anaesthesia-related data, demographic information, and multiyear files are now available. Together with advances in research methodology and technology, these databases provide the foundation for epidemiological research in anaesthesia. We present an overview of selected studies that provide epidemiological data and describe current anaesthetic practice, trends, and disparities in orthopaedic surgery in particular. This literature suggests that that even among orthopaedic surgical procedures, which are highly amenable to regional anaesthetic techniques, neuraxial anaesthetics and peripheral nerve blocks are used in only a minority of procedures. Trend analyses show that peripheral nerve blocks are gaining in popularity, whereas use of neuraxial anaesthetics is remaining relatively unchanged or even declining over time. Finally, significant disparities and variability in anaesthetic care seem to exist based on demographic and health-care-related factors. With anaesthesia playing an increasingly important part in population-based health-care delivery and evidence indicating improved outcome with use of regional anaesthesia, more research in this area is needed. Furthermore, prevalent disparities and variabilities in anaesthesia practice need to be specified further and addressed in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ii57-ii67
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Anaesthesia
  • anaesthesia
  • epidemiological data
  • epidemiology
  • healthcare disparities
  • regional anaesthesia
  • spinal
  • trends


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