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Clin J Pain. 2018 Oct;34(10):967-974. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000614.

Effect of Methylprednisolone on Pain Management in Total Knee or Hip Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

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Department of Orthopaedics, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu.
Institute of Brain Science and Disease, Qingdao University, Qingdao, China.



Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) has been reported to be a successful strategy for patients with advanced osteoarthritis; however, early postoperative pain has become an unresolved issue. Perioperative methylprednisolone (MP) administration in TJA is an important and controversial topic. This study was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of MP for pain management after total knee or hip arthroplasty (TKA/THA).


PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched for randomized controlled trials comparing MP versus placebo for patients undergoing TKA/THA. Related indicators that reflected the efficacy and safety for pain management were evaluated by meta-analysis.


Six randomized controlled trials involving a total of 350 patients met the inclusion criteria. The outcomes showed that intravenous MP significantly reduced pain scores at 6 and 24 hours during activity after TKA and THA but local use of MP had no clear benefit in reducing pain scores compared with the control group. There was no significant difference in VAS at 24 hours at rest and 48 hours during activity after TKA and THA. In addition, MP was associated with a reduction of morphine consumption at 24 hours after TKA. Furthermore, patients receiving MP had an obvious inflammatory control and improving postoperative nausea and vomiting and the use of MP was not associated with a significant increase in the risk of complications. There was no significant difference in the range of knee motion and length of hospital stay in both groups.


This study showed that intravenous MP significantly alleviated early postoperative pain and the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting after TKA and THA. For safety, intravenous MP as a promising strategy in rapid recovery to TJA.

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