Local anesthesia, epidural anesthesia and general anesthesia comparison in lumbar disc herniation: a network meta-analysis


Local anesthesia; epidural anesthesia;general anesthesia;lumbar disc herniation;network meta-analysis

Published online: Feb 17 2023


Wei Wang, Bin-bin Ni, Hao Shen, Hua Lu

From the Department of Orthopaedics, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China


There were 3 major anesthesia methods for discectomy: local, epidural and general. A lot of studies has been established to compare these three methods in different aspects, however, the result is still controversial. We conducted this network meta-analysis to evaluate these methods. Electronic databases including PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, were searched to identify clinical trials that reported the effects of local anesthesia general anesthesia and epidural anesthesia in lumbar disc herniation. Three indicators were included for evaluation: post-operative VAS score, complication, operation duration. In total, 12 studies and 2287 patients were included for this study. For complication, epidural anesthesia shows significantly lower rate compare to general anesthesia (OR: 0.45, 95% CI [0.24, 0.45], P=0.015), but local anesthesia didn’t show significant result, no significant heterogeneity was observed between designs. For VAS score, epidural anesthesia showed a better effect (MD: -1.61, 95%CI [-2.24, -0.98]) compare to general anesthesia, and local anesthesia has a similar effect (MD: -0.91, 95%CI [-1.54, -0.27]). However this result showed a very high heterogeneity (I2=95%). For operation duration, local anesthesia showed a significant lesser time compare to general anesthesia (MD: -46.31(minutes), 95%CI [-73.73, -19.19]) but epidural anesthesia didn’t have one, this result also showed a very high heterogeneity (I2=98%). Epidural anesthesia showed lesser post- operative complication compare to general anesthesia in lumbar disc herniation surgery.