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J Orthop Sci. 2016 Mar;21(2):172-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jos.2015.11.005. Epub 2016 Feb 14.

Comparison of the effects of treatment with celecoxib, loxoprofen, and acetaminophen on postoperative acute pain after arthroscopic knee surgery: A randomized, parallel-group trial.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Zenshukai Hospital, Maebashi City, Gunma, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Zenshukai Hospital, Maebashi City, Gunma, Japan.



Selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, conventional non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and acetaminophen have been adopted for the relief of mild to moderate acute and chronic pain. However, it remains unclarified whether the therapeutic differences in pain sensation exist among these agents. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of different types of analgesic agents for postoperative acute pain management.


A single-center, randomized, controlled study was performed in consecutive patients who underwent the second-look procedure with removal of internal fixation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction or arthroscopic meniscal repair/meniscectomy. Celecoxib (400 mg for the first dose and then 200 mg), loxoprofen (60 mg), or acetaminophen (600 mg) was orally administered from postoperative 3 h. The pain intensity on a 100-mm VAS scale and subjective assessment of therapeutic pain-relief were compared among these three treatment groups until postoperative 2 days. The acquired data were analyzed according to the per-protocol analysis principle.


A total of 432 patients were screened, and 160 were enrolled. The VAS score tended to decrease over time in all groups. There was a significant improvement in the pain score both at rest and on movement, and subjective impression in the celecoxib-treated group compared with acetaminophen at postoperative 2 days. On the other hand, loxoprofen resulted in the benefit only in the pain score at rest in comparison with acetaminophen. Any comparisons between celecoxib and loxoprofen showed insignificant differences throughout observations. No adverse effects were confirmed in each group.


These obtained findings in our dose setting conditions suggest that celecoxib and loxoprofen treatments were superior to acetaminophen in pain-relief, though the superiority of loxoprofen over acetaminophen was modest. Overall, selective COX-2 inhibitors including conventional NSAIDs seem to have a possible advantage in acute pain management of relatively less invasive surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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