The efficacy of dexamethasone on pain and recovery after total hip arthroplasty: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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Total hip arthroplasty (THA) perioperative dexamethasone treatment is still a controversial subject. We write this systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of dexamethasone on pain and recovery after THA.


Two researchers searched the relevant studies from Pubmed, Cochrane, and Embase. The research was reported according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included in our meta-analysis. At the same time, the assessment of the risk of bias was conducted according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version. The pooled data are processed by software RevMan 5.3.


In accordance with inclusion and exclusion, 3 studies with 207 patients were eligible and accepted into this meta-analysis. For RCTs, the risk of bias was evaluated by Cochrane Collaboration tool. Only one study did not have detection bias. Our study demonstrated that the dexamethasone group was more effective than the placebo group in term of visual analogue scale (VAS) score at 24 hours (P < .001), 48 hours (P = .04); opioid consumption (P < .001); length of stay (LOS, P < .001); and postoperative nausea (P = .001).


Dexamethasone not only reduces postoperative pain scores and postoperative opioids consumption within 48 hours, but also reduces postoperative vomiting and effectively reduces LOS. However, we still need large sample size and high quality studies to explore the relationship between complications and dose response to give the final conclusion.

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