Use of Pain Pumps Tied to Knee Chondrolysis

Maureen Leahy

Bupivacaine is a local anesthetic used during a variety of medical procedures. Single intra-articular injections of the anesthetic, initially thought to be safe and effective for controlling postoperative pain following joint surgery, are currently under further investigation. According to recent studies, however, continuous intra-articular infusion of bupivacaine has been associated with rapid chondrolysis in the shoulder and knee, which can lead to severe joint damage.

In a recent article in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Frank R. Noyes, MD, and his colleagues from the Cincinnati SportsMedicine & Orthopaedic Center report the clinical course and results of treatment in patients in whom chondrolysis developed after knee surgery.

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