Original Article

HSS Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 155-159

First online:

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Intraarticular Ropivacaine for Pain Management Immediately Following Total Knee Arthroplasty

  • Adam S. RosenAffiliated withDivision of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic
  • , Clifford W. ColwellJrAffiliated withDivision of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic Email author 
  • , Pamela A. PulidoAffiliated withShiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic, Scripps Health
  • , Tricia L. ChaffeeAffiliated withDivision of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic
  • , Steven N. CoppAffiliated withDivision of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic

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Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a commonly performed procedure for the treatment of end-stage arthritis of the knee. Pain control following TKA is difficult to manage in some patients. We examined the use of a postoperative intraarticular injection of 100 mL of 0.2% (200 mg) ropivacaine in a double-blind, prospective, placebo-controlled pilot study to evaluate its use as a pain control modality. All patients received general anesthesia. Postoperatively, patients were placed on intravenous patient-controlled analgesia with morphine. The ropivacaine group showed an early trend in lower visual analog scale (VAS) scores when compared with the placebo group. Patients receiving ropivacaine used a similar amount of narcotics compared with the placebo group. Intraarticular ropivacaine used for pain control after TKA demonstrated no statistically significant difference in lowering VAS scores or narcotic usage; therefore, intraarticular ropivacaine as a single modality is not recommended for effective pain management.


total knee arthroplasty ropivacaine intraarticular injection pain control randomized controlled trial