Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the addition of dexamethasone to levobupivacaine on the duration of analgesia in forearm surgeries under ultrasound guided inter scalene (ISB) brachial plexus block.
Patients and Methods: This prospective randomized controlled, double blind clinical trial was conducted in 60 patients who had elective forearm surgeries under ultrasound guided inter scalene (ISB) brachial plexus block. Patients in levobupivacaine group (Group L) received 25 ml of 0.5% levobupivacaine plus 2 ml of normal saline 0.9%. Patients in levobupivacaine dexamethasone (Group LD) received 25 ml of 0.5% levobupivacaine plus 2 ml of dexamethasone (8 mg). The onset of sensory and motor block, duration of the sensory block, time to first analgesic request, the number of failed block, total morphine consumption, side effects and complications were recorded and compared.
Results: Onset of sensory block and motor block were significantly earlier in group LD compared to group L. Duration of sensory block and time of 1st analgesic request were significantly longer in group LD compared to group L. Total morphine consumption was significantly lower in group LD in comparison to group L. Number of failed blocks was non-significantly lower in group LD. The incidence of side effects and complications was low and comparable in both groups.
Conclusion: Addition of dexamethasone to levobupivacaine significantly shortens the onset of sensory and motor block, prolongs the duration of analgesia, decreases the 24 hours morphine consumption and prolongs the time to first analgesic request with minimal side effects.