Is pregabalin effective and safe in total knee arthroplasty? A PRISMA-compliant meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials

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Background:Pain management after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) varies and has been investigated for years. Pregabalin as an anticonvulsant agent that selectively affects the nociceptive process has been used for pain relief after operation. This meta-analysis was conducted to examine the evidence of pregabalin in TKA.Methods:Systematic searches of all related literatures were conducted using the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Only randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) for TKA were included. The postoperative narcotic requirements, visual analog scale scores, knee flexion range, and relative risk of incidence rate of adverse effects in the pregabalin group versus placebo group were extracted throughout the study.Results:Seven placebo-controlled RCTs met the inclusion criteria. The use of pregabalin significantly decrease the postoperative total morphine consumption (P < .05) and increase the passive knee flexion range (P < .05). Compared with the control group, the incidence of some side effects (nausea, vomiting, pruritus, and constipation) was less in the pregabalin group (P < .05).Conclusions:The administration of pregabalin is not only efficacious in the reduction of narcotic requirements and incidence of some adverse effect, but also workable for the improvement of passive knee flexion range after TKA.

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