Background Perioperative dexamethasone as an adjunct to multimodal analgesia, has an opioid-sparing and pain alleviating effect after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), however, the 3-year effects are unknown. We aimed to investigate the 3-year effect of one (DX1) or two (DX2) intravenous doses of 24 mg dexamethasone or placebo on pain, physical function, and health-related quality of life after TKA. Methods Patients who participated in the Dexamethasone Twice for Pain Treatment after TKA (DEX-2-TKA) were invited to physical tests and questionnaires (self-reported characteristics, Oxford Knee Score, EuroQol-5Dimensions-5Levels (EQ5D5L), and PainDetect). The tests were 40-meter Fast Paced Walk (40FPW) test, Timed Up and Go (TUG), 30 Second Chair Stand test (30CST), Stair Climb Test (SCT), bilateral knee Range of Motion, and knee extension torque. For each test the peak pain intensity was registered on a 0 to 100 mm Visual Analogue Scale. Primary outcome was average peak pain intensity during the 40FPW, TUG, 30CST and SCT. Secondary outcomes were the tests and questionnaires. Out of 252 eligible patients, 133 (52.8%) underwent the tests and 160 (63.5%) answered the questionnaires. Mean follow-up time was 33 months (range, 23 to 40). Results Median (Interquartile Range) peak pain intensity was 0 (0 to 65) for the DX2 group, 0 (0 to 51) for DX1 group and 0 (0 to 70) for the placebo group (P=0.72). No differences in secondary outcomes were identified. Conclusions One or two intravenous doses of 24 mg dexamethasone did not impact chronic pain development or physical function three years after TKA.
- Total Knee Arthroplasty
- Chronic Pain