Fentanyl PCA Extremely Effective for Flexor Pollicis Longus Rehabilitation

A recent study out of upstate New York elucidated a novel approach to patients with recent flexor pollicis longus repairs.  This surgery, known to be excruciatingly painful, also carries a high risk of flexor and extensor tendon contractures, necessitating the need to mobilize these patients’ thumbs early and often.  A prospective cohort of 120 patients was randomized to either a Fentanyl PCA with 1mcg of Fentanyl available every 30 seconds or the stand regimen of long acting oral narcotics with breakthrough IV medications.  The results were striking: 96% of patients on the Fentanyl PCA achieved the goal thumb flexor rehab while just 20% achieved it on the standard regimen.  Secondary endpoints included pain control, which showed no statistically significant difference, and rest - which showed a statistically significant trend towards sleep deprivation in the Fentanyl PCA group.  Therefore, the investigative team hypothesized that this novel analgesia regimen may be applicable to other groups requiring frequent mental status checks such as head trauma victims, Lost fans, or those aggravated jerks that need a distraction to just shut their pie holes.