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.