Research Article| Volume 14, ISSUE 6, P605-612, September 1998

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Comparison of oral ketorolac and hydrocodone for pain relief after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

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      The analgesic effectiveness of ketorolac tromethamine was compared with hydrocodone and acetaminophen for pain from an arthroscopically assisted patellar-tendon autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. There were 125 patients evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, multicenter, and multidose study. A loading dose of parental ketorolac tromethamine was administered and subjects were later given two staged doses of the same "unknown" drug with pain evaluations conducted after each dose. For group 1, dose 1 consisted of ketorolac tromethamine 20 mg orally and dose 2 was ketorolac tromethamine 10 mg. For group 2, both dose 1 and dose 2 consisted of hydrocodone 10 mg plus acetaminophen 1,000 mg orally. Efficacy was evaluated by standard analgesic measures. Subjects treated as outpatients showed lower categorical pain intensity for ketorolac tromethamine than hydrocodone and acetaminophen at 1 hour (P=.03), 2 hours (P=.006), and 3 hours (P=.02); lower summed intensity differences for ketorolac tromethamine than hydrocodone and acetaminophen at 3 hours (P=.014) and 4 hours (P=.019); and better total pain relief for ketorolac tromethamine than hydrocodone and acetaminophen at 3 hours (P=.014) and 4 hours (P=.013). With an effective loading dose administered before the subsequent oral dosage, there was statistically better pain reduction with ketorolac tromethamine than with hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Moreover, ketorolac tromethamine was no more likely to cause digestive complaints than hydrocodone and acetaminophen. No bleeding problems were observed in either group. In the outpatient setting, ketorolac tromethamine controls postoperative pain better than hydrocodone and acetaminophen in the immediate postsurgery period.
      Arthroscopy 1998 Sep;14(6):605-12
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