A study published online in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research examines trends in medical liability claims related to anesthesia in nonspine orthopaedic surgery. 

The researchers reviewed data on 475 claims related to nonspine orthopaedic surgery and 1,592 claims related to other procedures and found that nonspine orthopaedic anesthesia liability claims more frequently cited nerve injury and events arising from the use of regional anesthesia than other surgical anesthesia liability claims. The researchers suggest that the trend "may reflect the frequency of regional anesthesia in orthopaedic cases rather than increased risk of injury associated with regional techniques." They suggest that, when neuraxial procedures and anticoagulation regimens are used concurrently, "care pathways should emphasize clear lines of responsibility for coordination of care and early investigation of any unusual neurologic findings that might indicate neuraxial hematoma." In addition, "postoperative use of multiple opioids by different concurrent modes of administration warrant special precautions with consideration given to the provision of care in settings with enhanced respiratory monitoring," the researchers write. Learn more...

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