Effects of intra-articular levobupivacaine, fentanyl-levobupivacaine and tramadol-levobupivacaine for postoperative pain in arthroscopic knee surgery

Pınar Sayın, Hale Dobrucalı, Hacer Şebnem Türk, Tolga Totoz, Canan Tülay Işıl, Ayşe Hancı
Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica 2015, 49 (3): 267-73

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the postoperative analgesic efficacy of intra-articularly injected levobupivacaine, levobupivacaine-fentanyl, and levobupivacaine-tramadol combinations.

METHODS: Eighty patients scheduled for elective knee arthroscopy were divided randomly into 4 groups of 20 patients each. Group 1 (the control group) received intra-articular saline, Group 2 received levobupivacaine 2.5 mg/ml, Group 3 received levobupivacaine 2.5 mg/ml + tramadol 50 mg, and Group 4 received levobupivacaine 2.5 mg/ml + fentanyl l50 mcg. All patients were operated on under general anesthesia, and a total of 20 ml study solution was injected: 7 ml subcutaneously before surgery and 13 ml intra-articularly upon completion of surgery. For postoperative, pain visual analogue scale (VAS) was assessed at the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 12th, and 24th hours postoperatively. Patients with a VAS score over 5 received diclofenac sodium, and the need for rescue analgesics was recorded.

RESULTS: At the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 12th, and 24th postoperative hours, Group 3 and Group 4 had statistically significant lower VAS scores of pain (p<0.01). Postoperative rescue analgesic requirements were different among the groups. The postoperative 1st hour analgesic requirement was statistically significantly lower in Group 3 and Group 4 when compared to the other groups (p<0.01). At the postoperative 2nd and 4th hours, analgesic requirements were statistically significantly lower in Group 3 than in the other groups (p<0.01). Analgesic requirements were statistically significantly lower in Group 3 and Group 4 than in the other groups (p<0.01). Analgesic requirements at the 12th and 24th postoperative hours did not show any statistically significant difference (p>0.05).

CONCLUSION: The results indicated that levobupivacaine combined with either fentanyl or tramadol decreased rescue analgesic requirements when compared to levobupivacaine alone.

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