Perioperative Anesthesia and Analgesia in Total Joint Arthroplasty Guidelines 2020| Volume 35, ISSUE 10, P2730-2738.e6, October 2020

The Efficacy and Safety of Gabapentinoids in Total Joint Arthroplasty: Systematic Review and Direct Meta-Analysis



      Gabapentinoids are commonly used as an adjunct to traditional pain management strategies after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of gabapentinoids in primary TJA to support the combined clinical practice guidelines of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Hip Society, Knee Society, and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management.


      The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for studies published prior to November 2018 on gabapentinoids in TJA. All included studies underwent qualitative and quantitative homogeneity testing followed by a systematic review and direct comparison meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and safety of gabapentinoids.


      In total, 384 publications were critically appraised to provide 13 high-quality studies regarded as the best available evidence for analysis. In the perioperative period prior to discharge, pregabalin reduces postoperative opioid consumption, but gabapentinoids do not reduce postoperative pain. After discharge, gabapentin does not reduce postoperative pain or opioid consumption, but pregabalin reduces both postoperative pain and opioid consumption.


      Moderate evidence supports the use of pregabalin in TJA to reduce postoperative pain and opioid consumption. Gabapentinoids should be used with caution, however, as they may lead to an increased risk of sedation and respiratory depression especially when combined with other central nervous system depressants such as opioids.


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