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Reducing the pain of local 1% lidocaine infiltration with a preceding bacteriostatic saline injection: a double-blind prospective trial.

Author(s): Barrett SL, Maxka J, Mieras JN, Cooper KE

Affiliation(s): Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ 85308, USA. sbarre@midwestern.edu

Publication date & source: 2011-05, J Am Podiatr Med Assoc., 101(3):223-30.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Lidocaine injection for local anesthesia is a common podiatric medical procedure. We tested the hypothesis that injection of bacteriostatic saline solution containing 0.9% benzyl alcohol before the lidocaine infiltration can reduce the burning caused by lidocaine injection. METHODS: This double-blind prospective trial involved 45 participants who each received four injections in two areas of the dorsum of the foot and rated the perceived pain on a visual analog scale. The order of the injections was designed to disguise the control and intervention arms of the study. RESULTS: The sensation of the lidocaine injection after the injection of saline was reduced significantly (P = .028). The percentage of lidocaine injections with visual analog scale scores of 0 increased by 36% after preinjection with bacteriostatic saline solution containing 0.9% benzyl alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: The fact that 40% of the intervention visual analog scale pain scores for lidocaine injections were 0 suggests that a near painless lidocaine injection technique is an achievable goal and that the present technique is a simple and inexpensive method of reducing the pain of lidocaine injections.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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