Patients who undergo surgery of femur fracture suffer the excruciating pain. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) is a unique α2-adrenergic receptor agonist with sedative and analgesic properties, whose efficacy and safety are still unclear for surgery of femur fracture. Randomized controlled trials comparing the effects of addition of DEX to general or local anesthesia in surgery of femur fracture were searched from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library database. Patients who received DEX infusion had a significant longer time to rescue analgesia compared with those without DEX coadministration. DEX treatment seemed to reduce the visual analog score; however, the significance did not reach any statistical difference. DEX as an analgesic adjuvant did not reduce the onset of sensory block time, shorten the time to achieve maximum sensory block level, and provide a longer duration of sensory block. The difference in mean sedation scores between 2 groups was not statistically significant. As for adverse effects, DEX therapy significantly increased the rate of hypotension. In conclusion, dexmedetomidine as a local anesthetic adjuvant in femur fracture surgery had a longer duration of rescue analgesia. However, the incidence of hypotension was markedly increased in these patients. It was worth noting that the evidence was of low to moderate quality.
© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.