The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 23, Issue: 5, Page: 877-82

Incidence of cardiovascular complications in knee arthroplasty patients before and after implementation of a ropivacaine local infiltration analgesia protocol: A retrospective study

Lameijer, Joost R C; Verboom, Frederik; Grefkens, Joost; Jansen, Joris


Local infiltration analgesia (LIA) during total knee arthroplasty has been shown to give statistically significant reduction in post-operative pain. The effects of using high volumes of ropivacaine combined with adrenaline as LIA on cardiovascular parameters in knee replacement have not been described before. The objective of this study was to investigate the cardiovascular safety of ropivacaine as part of high volume local infiltration analgesia (LIA) in total knee replacement surgery.


This is a retrospective observational comparative cohort study conducted in two independent cohorts, one treated without and one treated with a local infiltration analgesia protocol, containing a total of 744 patients with a mean age of 68 years (42 to 89) and 68 years (21 to 88) respectively with a follow-up of 12 months.


No statistical difference in bradycardia during surgery, post-operative cardiovascular complications, and mortality was found after use of LIA. A statistically significant lower incidence of hypotension was found in the LIA group (P < 0.01). This result has to be interpreted with care, due to the use of adrenaline in the LIA mixture, which could mask possible hypotension. No statistical difference was found in the occurrence of hypertension or tachycardia, despite the addition of adrenaline to the LIA mixture. No difference in mortality was found between the two groups (P = 0.11).


These results show safe use of high volume ropivacaine with adrenaline as local infiltration analgesia during total knee replacement surgery.

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