Effects of Ketorolac and Bupivacaine on Recovery After Outpatient Arthroscopy

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The effects of intra articular bupivacaine, systemic ketorolac, and a combination of both treatments on postoperative pain and mobilization were evaluated in 60 healthy outpatients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery under general anesthesia. After induction of anesthesia, patients received 2 mL of either ketorolac (60 mg) or saline solution (1 mL IV and 1 mL IM). On completion of surgery, the patient's knee joint was injected with 30 mL of either 0.5% bupivacaine or saline solution, according to a randomized, double-blind protocol. Only one patient (6%) receiving both medications complained of pain on awakening, compared with seven patients receiving either bupivacaine (37%) or ketorolac (41%) alone. Postoperative fentanyl was required by significantly fewer patients receiving combined therapy (n = 4, 21%) than either bupivacaine (n = 13, 62%) or ketorolac (n = 12, 60%) alone; however, there were no significant differences among the three treatment groups in terms of perioperative pain, nausea, or sedation visual analogue scale scores. Similarly, there were no differences in the times to ambulation or discharge or in analgesic requirements at home. In conclusion, a combination of systemic ketorolac and intraarticular bupivacaine decreased analgesic requirements and pain on awakening after arthroscopic surgery. However, the use of ketorolac alone or in combination with bupivacaine offered no advantage over bupivacaine alone with respect to recovery times after outpatient arthroscopy.

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