A double-blind prospective comparison of rofecoxib vs ketorolac in reducing postoperative pain after arthroscopic knee surgery.
Author(s): Kim JT, Sherman O, Cuff G, Leibovits A, Wajda M, Bekker AY
Affiliation(s): Department of Anesthesiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Publication date & source: 2005-09, J Clin Anesth., 17(6):439-43.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial
STUDY OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy of premedication with rofecoxib vs intravenous (IV) ketorolac in reducing postoperative pain after arthroscopic knee surgery. STUDY DESIGN: This is a prospective, randomized, double-blinded study. SETTING: This study was set at a university hospital. SUBJECTS: The subjects include 54 patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical statuses I, II, and III undergoing knee arthroscopy. INTERVENTIONS: Group 1 received 50 mg oral rofecoxib preoperatively with IV placebo injection, which was administered 20 minutes before the end of the operation. Group 2 received a preoperative placebo and 30 mg IV ketorolac 20 minutes before the end of surgery. MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome measure was the proportion of patients reporting pain in the postoperative anesthesia care unit, 6 hours and 24 hours after discharge. Additional end points included the use of 5:325 mg oxycodone-acetaminophen (O/A) tablets, pain scores, patient's satisfaction survey, and comparison of side effects. Data were analyzed using independent samples t tests for continuous variables or chi2 tests for categorical variables. P < .05 was considered significant. RESULTS: The 2 groups were comparable with regard to patient characteristics, intraoperative medication use, and duration of surgery. There was no difference either in pain scores or O/A use in the postoperative anesthesia care unit. At 24 hours after discharge, significantly more patients in the ketorolac group (91%) reported pain than the rofecoxib group (63%) (P = .02). Sixty-one percent of patients in the ketorolac group used O/A during the first 24 hours vs 38% in the rofecoxib group. The difference, however, was not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Preoperative rofecoxib is as effective as ketorolac for the treatment of pain after knee arthroscopy. Higher frequency of pain reporting at 24 hours by patients in ketorolac group is explained by the longer analgesic effect of rofecoxib. Future studies should directly compare gastrointestinal injury of these drugs, as well as cost-effectiveness of rofecoxib vs ketorolac.