Adductor canal block is similar to femoral nerve block for the quality of rehabilitation after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy



Adductor canal block (ACB) provides postoperative pain relief as effectively as femoral nerve block (FNB) does, and it preserves the strength of the quadriceps femoris. However, its effect on rehabilitation after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy has not been reported. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of pre-operative ACB and FNB on the quality of rehabilitation after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.


A total of 150 patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy were randomly allocated to the FNB group (receiving 0.3% ropivacaine 30 ml at the thighroot-femoral nerve), the ACB group (receiving 0.3% ropivacaine 30 ml at mid-thigh adductor canal), or the control group. The primary outcome was the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) knee score on the 30th postoperative day.


The HSS knee score of the ACB group on the 30th day after the operation was significantly higher than those of the FNB and control groups (88.6 ± 5.3 vs. 85.3 ± 6.9 and 81.2 ± 5.9, respectively; P < 0.05). Both the ACB and FNB groups showed excellent rehabilitation, indicating similar rehabilitation quality for both treatments.


ACB is similar to FNB concerning the quality of rehabilitation and pain relief after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, while ACB has little effect on the strength of the quadriceps femoris.

Level of evidence


Trial registrataion

This trial was registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-INC-16008346).

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No conflict of interest existed in the submission of this manuscript, and the manuscript was approved by all authors for publication.


This study was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC; 81700074; 81873500) and the National Key Research and Development Plan (2018YFC2001802).

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Correspondence to Bin Liu or Leng Zhou.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All participants gave their written consent and were recruited in agreement with the Helsinki Declaration. This study was approved by the Biomedical Ethics Committee of West China Hospital of Sichuan University.

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Xin, J., Zhang, Y., Li, Q. et al. Adductor canal block is similar to femoral nerve block for the quality of rehabilitation after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 28, 2334–2342 (2020).

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  • Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy
  • Femoral nerve block
  • Adductor canal block
  • Rehabilitation