Jun Ma, Yaodan Bi, Yabing Zhang, Yingchao Zhu, Yujie Wu, Yu Ye, Jie Wang, Tianyao Zhang, Bin Liu

May 2021, pp 1 - 13 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06853-w

First Online: 13 May 2021

Erector spinae plane block for postoperative analgesia in spine surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Although in recent years some randomized controlled trails (RCTs) have explored the analgesic effect of erector spinae plane block (ESPB) in spine surgery, their results are controversial. Our study aimed to examine the analgesic effect of preoperative ESPB in spine surgery by a meta-analysis of RCTs.


The articles of RCTs that compared preoperative ESPB with no block in terms of the analgesic effect in adult patients following spine surgery were eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome was the pain scores reported by Visual Analog Scale or Numerical Rating Scale of pain at different time intervals in 48 h after surgery. The secondary outcomes included postoperative opioid consumption, rescue analgesia requirement, opioid-related side effects and complications associated with ESPB.


Twelve studies involving 828 patients were eligible for our study. Compared with no block, ESPB had a significant effect on reducing postoperative pain scores at rest and at movement at different time intervals except at movement at 48 h. ESPB significantly decreased opioid consumption in 24 h after surgery (SMD − 1.834; 95%CI − 2.752, − 0.915; p < 0.001; I2 = 89.0%), and reduced the incidence of rescue analgesia (RR 0.333; 95%CI 0.261, 0.425; p < 0.001; I2 = 0%) and postoperative nausea and vomiting (RR 0.380; 95%CI 0.272, 0.530; p < 0.001; I2 = 9.0%). Complications associated with ESPB were not reported in the included studies.


Our meta-analysis demonstrates that ESPB is effective in decreasing postoperative pain intensity and postoperative opioid consumption in spine surgery. Therefore, for the management of postoperative pain following spine surgery, preoperative ESPB is a good choice.

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