Peroperative Intra-Articular Infiltration of Tranexamic Acid and Ropivacaine Cocktail in Patients Undergoing Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Department of Orthopaedics, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, IND.

Cureus. 2022;14(3):e23091
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Background Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a procedure that has improved the quality of life of patients with knee arthritis. Postoperative pain and blood loss are the two major drawbacks of TKA which affect patient satisfaction and delay recovery and rehabilitation. Local infiltration analgesia has shown better results in controlling immediate postoperative pain, thus enabling early rehabilitation and mobilization, while local infiltration of antifibrinolytic agents has shown impressive results in controlling blood loss. In this study, we evaluate the effect of a combination of intra-articular infiltration of ropivacaine cocktail along with intra-articular instillation of tranexamic acid in reducing patient-reported postoperative pain and the level of blood loss control after TKA. Methodology Patients presenting with high-grade osteoarthritis and undergoing TKA were included and randomly allocated to two groups: one receiving the intra-articular infiltration (group A), and the other not receiving any infiltration (group B). Postoperative pain was measured through the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) every three hours for the first 24 hours, and then at 48 hours and 72 hours postoperatively. The need for additional analgesia, in the form of a slow epidural infusion, in patients experiencing severe postoperative pain was evaluated in both groups. Postoperative blood loss was assessed by measuring total drain output (in mL) and by comparing preoperative and postoperative (at 24 hours) hemoglobin, hematocrit drift, and blood transfusion rates. The duration of the postoperative hospital stay and the time taken to start postoperative knee mobilization exercises and weight-bearing were noted to assess the recovery and rehabilitation of the patients in the two groups. Results The study included 42 patients (group A, 22 patients; group B, 20 patients) with 28 knees in each group. Patients with intra-articular infiltration using ropivacaine cocktail with tranexamic acid showed excellent pain control compared to the non-infiltrated patients in the early 48 hours postoperatively. There was a significant drop in postoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit values in the non-infiltrated patients compared to the other group. Further, the intra-articular infiltration-instillation significantly reduced blood loss through the drain, the requirement of postoperative blood transfusions, and the duration of hospital stay. Conclusions It can be safely concluded that ropivacaine cocktail and tranexamic acid instillation postoperatively in knee arthroplasty patients is a very useful and effective technique to reduce postoperative pain and blood loss.
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Language : eng
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