Background: Pain after arthroscopic shoulder surgery is often severe, and establishing a pain treatment regimen that does not delay discharge can be challenging. The reported ability of ketamine to prevent opioid-induced hyperalgesia has not been investigated in this particular setting.
Methods: 300 adult patients scheduled for shoulder arthroscopy under general anesthesia were recruited for this observational clinical trial and were allotted to either receive 1mg/kg IV bolus of ketamine before surgery (ketamine group, KG) or to a control group (CG) without ketamine. NRS pain scores were obtained on the operative day and on postoperative days 1 and 2 and compared between groups. Secondary variables were blood pressure, heart rate, process times, satisfaction with the anesthetic and unwanted effects.
Results: Pain severity did not differ significantly between the groups at any time. Propofol injection rate and cumulative dose were higher in the KG. Heart rates and blood pressures were similar. Time to emergence and time in PACU were longer and vomiting was more frequent in patients given ketamine.
Conclusion: Preoperative low-dose ketamine added to a general anesthetic does not reduce perioperative pain after outpatient shoulder arthroscopy. It increases procedural times and the incidence of PONV.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.