Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 745–754 | Cite as

The comparison of adductor canal block with femoral nerve block following total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review with meta-analysis

  • Xing-qi Zhao
  • Nan Jiang
  • Fei-fei Yuan
  • Lei Wang
  • Bin YuEmail author
Original Article



Although several studies have compared the clinical efficacy of an adductor canal block (ACB) to that of a femoral nerve block (FNB) for analgesia after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), disputes mainly exist in the recovery of quadriceps strength and mobilization ability between the two methods. The aim of the present study was to compare, in a systematic review and meta-analysis, the clinical efficacy of ACB with that of FNB.


We systematically searched randomized controlled trials comparing FNB with ACB for analgesia after TKA in Pubmed and the Cochrane Library from inception to April 30th 2015. There was no limitation of publication language. Trial quality was assessed using the modified Jadad scale, and eligible data were pooled for meta-analysis.


Five studies of 348 patients were included. Outcomes showed that patients who received ACB had similar or better recovery of quadriceps strength and mobilization ability than those that underwent FNB. Similar efficacy was found between the two strategies regarding adductor strength, pain scores [at rest (p = 0.86), at or after knee flexion (p = 0.31)], opioid consumption (p = 0.99), opioid-associated adverse effects (p = 0.60), length of hospital stay (p = 0.42), patient satisfaction (p = 0.57), and success rate of blockade (p = 0.20).


The present study suggests that TKA patients who receive ACB can achieve similar or even better recovery of quadriceps strength and mobilization ability than those treated with FNB. Taken as a whole, ACB may be a better analgesia strategy after TKA at present.


Femoral adductor canal block Femoral nerve block Analgesia Total knee arthroplasty Systematic review Meta-analysis 



The authors thank Prof. Allen P. Liang for revising this manuscript. The authors are also grateful for the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81272052, 81572165).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors certify that they, or any members of their immediate families, have no funding or commercial associations (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc.) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xing-qi Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nan Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fei-fei Yuan
    • 3
  • Lei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bin Yu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyNanfang Hospital, Southern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Bone and Cartilage Regenerative MedicineNanfang Hospital, Southern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of NeonateShanxi Children’s Hospital, Shanxi Medical UniversityTaiyuanChina

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