Low-dose Perioperative Dexamethasone Improves 24-hour Post-Operative Pain after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Introduction: Post-operative pain following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction remains an important challenge. Steroids are used in various surgical procedures to decrease post-operative nausea, vomiting and pain. However, only a few studies have reported the effect of systemic administration of steroids in controlling post- operative pain after anterior cruciate ligament surgery.
Materials and methods: We have conducted a prospective randomised trial with 109 patients divided into two groups to determine if administration of dexamethasone in the perioperative period improves pain in the post-operative period. The patients were divided into two groups: D, treatment (dexamethasone) and P, control placebo (saline). Patients in the D treatment group were given the first dose of 10mg of intravenous dexamethasone intravenously intra- operatively and the second dose on transferring of the patient to the inpatient department. The patients in the placebo P group, were administered normal saline in the perioperative period in a similar manner.
Result: Post-operative pain was significantly less in the dexamethasone group at rest and on walking (p<0.001) for the first 24 hours after surgical procedure. Subsequently, the VAS pain scores were almost similar in both groups at 48 and 72 hours. The administration of dexamethasone resulted in less requirement of antiemetic and rescue analgesia medication There was no difference in range of motion and wound complications rate during the follow-up period at six months. No adverse side effect, like osteonecrosis of the hip, was detected.
Conclusion: The pain following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is severe during the first 24 hours and perioperative administration of dexamethasone can decrease the post-operative pain substantially.
Abstract | Reference