Intraoperative small-dose ketamine enhances analgesia after outpatient knee arthroscopy

C Menigaux, B Guignard, D Fletcher, D I Sessler, X Dupont, M Chauvin
Anesthesia and Analgesia 2001, 93 (3): 606-12
Ketamine may prevent postoperative hyperalgesia. In patients undergoing arthroscopic meniscectomy using general anesthesia, we tested whether a single intraoperative dose of ketamine enhanced postoperative analgesia and improved functional outcome compared with a typical multimodal analgesic regimen. After the induction of anesthesia, 50 patients were randomly assigned to ketamine (0.15 mg/kg IV just after the induction of anesthesia) or a vehicle placebo. Standardized general anesthesia included propofol, alfentanil, and nitrous oxide. Bupivacaine (0.5%) and morphine (5 mg) were given intraarticularly at the end of surgery. Postoperative analgesia was initially provided with morphine and subsequently with naproxen sodium (550 mg orally twice daily) and Di-Antalvic (400 mg acetaminophen and 30 mg dextropropoxyphene) as needed. Pain scores, analgesic requirements, side effects, and ability to walk were assessed in the ambulatory unit and at home for three postoperative days. Times to awakening and to discharge were similar in the two groups. However, the Ketamine group had significantly less postoperative pain at rest and during mobilization on Days 0, 1, and 2. Furthermore, they consumed significantly fewer Di-Antalvic tablets than the control group (13 [7-17] vs 27 [16-32], median [25%-75% interquartile range]). Patients given ketamine were also able to walk for longer periods of time on the first postoperative day. In conclusion, adding small-dose ketamine to a multimodal analgesic regimen improved postoperative analgesia and functional outcome after outpatient knee arthroscopy.

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