Changing practice to increase rates of spinal anaesthesia for total joint replacement

Susan E. Eklund, Alina Vodonos, Sheila M. Ryan-Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neuraxial anaesthesia for lower extremity total joint replacement surgery has several advantages over general anaesthesia; however, we encountered resistance to routine use of spinal anaesthesia and standardised analgesic regimens at our large, tertiary hospital. Our Perioperative Surgical Home led to multidisciplinary education and enhanced communication to change practice, with the purpose of increasing rates of neuraxial anaesthetics for these surgeries. Methods: Team members from anaesthesia, nursing and surgery participated in the development and adoption of the care pathway. After implementation, we performed a retrospective analysis to examine the impact of the pathway on primary anaesthetic choice. Data were analysed using Student’s t-test and interrupted time series analysis. Results: The rate of neuraxial anaesthetics increased following implementation of the total joint pathway. Conclusion: With multidisciplinary collaboration, we were able to change practice towards spinal anaesthesia, despite a large and diverse group of practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of perioperative practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthroplasty
  • Perioperative care
  • Perioperative surgical home
  • Spinal anaesthesia
  • Total joint replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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