Neurologist

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Chondrolysis Reported with Continuously Infused Local Anesthetics

The Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER’s focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation byFDA.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed 35 reports of chondrolysis (necrosis and destruction of cartilage) in patients given continuous intra-articular infusions of local anesthetics (marketed as bupivacaine, chlorprocaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, procaine and ropivacaine) with elastomeric infusion devices to control post-surgical pain. The significance of this injury to otherwise healthy young adults warrants notification to health care professionals.

The local anesthetics (with and without epinephrine) were infused for extended periods of time (48 to 72 hours) directly into the intra-articular space using an elastomeric pump.

Chondrolysis was diagnosed within a median of 8.5 months after the infusion.  Almost all of the reported cases of chondrolysis (97%) occurred following shoulder surgeries. Joint pain, stiffness, and loss of motion were reported as early as the second month after receiving the infusion. In more than half of these reports, the patients required additional surgery, including arthroscopy or arthroplasty (joint replacement)

 

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November 28, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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