Dexmedetomine for knee arthroscopy: IA tops IT administration for postop pain, opioid use

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Takeaway
  • Intra-articular (IA) adjuvant dexmedetomidine (Precedex) provides slightly better postoperative pain control and less opioid use than intrathecal (IT) dexmedetomidine and placebo for arthroscopic knee surgery.
Why this matters
  • Better postoperative pain control alleviates patient distress and expedites recovery.
Study design
  • In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 90 patients were given IT bupivacaine (Marcaine) and then randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: IA dexmedetomidine (IA group; n=30), IT dexmedetomidine (IT group; n=30) and IA saline (control group; n=30).
  • The primary outcome was pain intensity by visual analogue scale (VAS).
  • Secondary outcomes included total meperidine (Demerol) use, and time to first postoperative...