Mode of Anesthesia and Bladder Management Following Orthopaedic Surgery in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A System Level Analysis

Cathleen E. Buckon, Nikolas J. Koscielniak, Carole A. Tucker, Michael D. Aiona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Postoperative urinary retention (POUR) is a surgical complication more prevalent in children with neurodisability and associated with an increase length of hospitalization. Risk factors include pre-existing bladder dysfunction, type and duration of surgery, anesthesia medications, postoperative opioid pain management, and patient demographics. The purpose of this investigation was (1) to determine the frequency of POUR following hip/lower limb orthopaedic procedures in which epidural analgesia was used for pain management; (2) to explore factors influencing postoperative bladder management. Methods: A retrospective analysis of clinical data was performed in an orthopaedic specialty care health care system. A health outcomes network was queried for patients with a diagnoses of cerebral palsy (ICD-9/10 codes) who had one of 57 unique CPT procedure codes corresponding to hip osteotomies or tenotomies from 2011 to 2019. All surgical observations included in analysis required a discrete data element and the confirmation of a secondary proxy. The database was also queried for postoperative medications received and patient demographics of interest. Results: A total of 704 surgical procedures met inclusion criteria resulting in a patient population with a mean age of 11 years, 58% male, 53% Caucasian, and 55% classified as quadriplegia [51% Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels IV/V]. Three hundred and thirty-five procedures (48%) involved epidural anesthesia. Sixty-five patients required intermittent catheterization (9.2%) postoperatively following foley catheter removal, of which 23 (3.3%) required recatheterization. The rate of recatheterization was similar regardless of anesthesia mode; 1.8% for general and 1.4% for epidural and was associated with a greater number of pain medications. Epidural anesthesia resulted in significantly longer periods of catheterization. For the total group the time to urinary catheter removal differed significantly among cerebral palsy subtypes, GMFCS Level, race, and ethnicity. Factors identified as significant predictors of the length of catheterization were epidural analgesia, number of pain medications, and osteotomy. Conclusions: The number of postoperative pain medications utilized was more predictive of POUR than the mode of analgesia delivery; however, epidural analgesia and the type of surgical procedure did significantly impact the length of catheterization. Level of Evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E544-E549
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • cerebral palsy
  • foley catheter
  • orthopaedic surgery
  • postoperative urinary retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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