Tramadol as an adjunct to intra-articular local anaesthetic infiltration in knee arthroscopy: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Background: Arthroscopic knee surgery is a common technique used in Australia. Post-operative pain is common and can lead to delayed discharge and impair early mobilization. Use of local anaesthesia can reduce pain while avoiding systemic side effects. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to establish the use of tramadol as an adjunct to intra-articular local anaesthetic infiltration in knee arthroscopy in the current literature.
Methods: Two independent reviewers performed a systematic search of four databases, where 24 articles were identified with six studies (four high-quality and two low-quality randomized controlled trials), with a total of 334 patients were included for analysis. RevMan 5.3 software (The Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark) was used to perform the data analysis. The studies included focused on outcomes such as pain scores, breakthrough analgesia, total analgesia, time to discharge and adverse events related to the use of tramadol as an adjunctive therapy.
Results: This study found that using tramadol as an adjunct to intra-articular local anaesthetic infiltration in arthroscopic knee surgery reduced post-operative pain and increased time to breakthrough analgesia without an increase in side effects.
Conclusion: This meta-analysis suggests that tramadol is an efficacious adjunct for use in intra-articular local anaesthetic infiltration following arthroscopic knee surgery.