Report adverse reactions associated with intra-articular use of local anaesthetics

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 35 reports of chondrolysis involving patients given continuous intra-articular infusions of local anaesthetics.

Article date: February 2010

The US Food and Drug Administration has recently reported that it has received 35 reports of chondrolysis involving patients given continuous (48–72 hours) intra-articular infusions of local anaesthetics (with or without epinephrine/adrenaline) to control pain after surgery.

Chondrolysis has been observed mainly in otherwise healthy young adults after surgery to the shoulder joint. In more than half of these reports, the patients required additional surgery, including arthroscopy or arthroplasty.

Single intra-articular injections of local anaesthetics in orthopaedic procedures have been used for many years without any reported occurrence of chondrolysis. To date, we have received no reports of chondrolysis in association with intra-articular administration of local anaesthetics from UK  sources. Please report via the Yellow Card Scheme any cases of suspected adverse drug reactions associated with intra-articular administration of local anaesthetics.

Article citation: Drug Safety Update Feb 2010, vol 3 issue 7: 8a.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.