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Anesth Analg. 1999 Jun;88(6):1286-91.

Postoperative analgesia with controlled-release oxycodone for outpatient anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

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  • 1Acute Pain Service, Baystate Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, Massachusetts 01199, USA. Scott.reuben@bhs.org


Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee is associated with a considerable degree of postoperative pain. Although immediate-release oral opioids are usually effective in relieving moderate to severe pain, they must be given every 4-6 h. A controlled-release (CR) formulation of oxycodone maintains therapeutic opioid concentrations for a more prolonged period, thus providing sustained pain relief. We designed this study to determine whether CR oxycodone is more effective and clinically acceptable than immediate-release oxycodone for managing pain after ambulatory ACL repair surgery. All patients received a standard general anesthetic and postoperative analgesic regimen with one of three oxycodone dosing regimens: oxycodone 10 mg every 4 h as needed, oxycodone 10 mg every 4 h, and CR oxycodone 20 mg every 12 h. Rescue analgesic consisted of oxycodone 5 mg every 6 h as needed. At 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 h, there was a difference in pain scores among the groups (P < 0.0001); there was less pain in the CR oxycodone group. At most times, the fixed-dose group had lower pain scores than the as-needed group. The sedation scores were significantly different at 12 h (P < 0.02) and at 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 h (P < 0.0001); the patients were more alert in the CR oxycodone group. The 72-h consumption of oxycodone was less in the CR oxycodone group (P < 0.0001). The patients had less sleep disturbance (P < 0.0001), were more satisfied (P < 0.0001), and experienced less vomiting (P < 0.02) in the CR oxycodone group compared with the other two groups. In conclusion, using CR oxycodone in the immediate 72 h after ambulatory ACL surgery provides more effective analgesia with less sedation, sleep disturbance, and postoperative vomiting compared with oxycodone prescribed on either a fixed dose or as-needed schedule.


A controlled-release formulation of oxycodone in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament repair on an ambulatory basis provides significant analgesic benefit and a lowering of side effects compared with either fixed-dose or as-needed oxycodone regimens.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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