Perioperative nonopioid analgesia reduces postoperative opioid consumption in knee arthroscopy: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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PURPOSE: The opioid epidemic has prompted an emphasis on investigating opioid-sparing alternatives for pain management following knee arthroscopy. This review evaluated the effects of perioperative nonopioid adjunct analgesia on postoperative opioid consumption and pain control in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy. METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed using the following databases: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and SCOPUS. Prospective comparative studies assessing the efficacy of various perioperative nonopioid analgesic strategies in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy were included. Twenty-five studies (n = 2408) were included. RESULTS: Pre-emptive nonopioid pain medications demonstrated a reduction in cumulative postoperative oral morphine equivalent (OME) consumption by 11.8 mg (95% CI - 18.3, - 5.4, p ≤ 0.0001) and VAS pain scores by 1.5 (95% CI - 2.3, - 0.7, p < 0.001) at 24 h compared to placebo. Postoperative nonopioid pain medications significantly reduced cumulative postoperative OME consumption by 9.7 mg (95% CI - 14.4, - 5.1, p < 0.001) and VAS pain scores by 1.0 (95% CI - 1.354, - 0.633, p < 0.001) at 24 h compared to placebo. Saphenous nerve blocks significantly reduced cumulative postoperative OME consumption by 6.5 mg (95% CI - 10.3, - 2.6, p = 0.01) and VAS pain scores by 0.8 (- 1.4, - 0.3, p = 0.03) at 24 h compared to placebo. Both preoperative patient education and postoperative cryotherapy reduced postoperative opioid consumption. CONCLUSION: Perioperative nonopioid pharmacotherapy, saphenous nerve blocks, and cryotherapy for patients undergoing knee arthroscopy significantly reduce opioid consumption and pain scores when compared to placebo at 24 h postoperatively. These interventions should be considered in efforts to reduce opioid consumption in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy. More research is needed to determine which interventions can reduce pain outside of the immediate postoperative period and the potential synergistic effects of combining interventions. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.