Warning: Local anesthetics may be toxic to articular cartilage

By Annie Hayashi

Amount, duration of local anesthetics can be cytotoxic

When Constance R. Chu, MD, began exploring the possibility that local anesthetics could have a toxic effect on articular chondrocytes, she was concerned by what she found. “The results from the first study we conducted were shocking,” she said. “The local anesthetic agents were so toxic, I could not believe it. We observed greater than 99 percent bovine chondrocyte death after a 15-minute exposure to a 0.5 percent bupivacaine solution.”

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