Randomized, double blinded comparative trial of intradermal injections of lignocaine versus N-saline around the knee to relieve pain in patients awaiting total knee replacement

Clin J Pain. 2009 May;25(4):269-72. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181929877.


Objectives: We report a randomized, double-blinded comparative study assessing the efficacy of local anesthetic with N-saline intradermal blocks around the knee to reduce pain and improve patient satisfaction while waiting for a total knee joint replacement.

Methods: Patients were offered involvement in this study while on the hospital waiting list for a knee replacement. Eligible patients, after completing a prestudy assessment, received an average of 6.3 (range: 1 to 10) intradermal injections of 0.5 mL either saline or 1% lignocaine injections into tender points around the knee. Patients were assessed at 2 hours and 1 week after the injections. Pain was assessed using 0 to 100 visual analog pain scale. Global perceived effect (satisfaction) was measured on a 7-point Likert scale.

Results: Thirty-two of 34 patients attended at 1-week assessment, 24 (75%) felt that they were improved, and 8 (25%) considered they were unchanged or worse. In both the saline and lignocaine groups, 12 of 16 patients felt that they had improved. N-saline proved as effective as lignocaine in reducing knee pain when injected intradermally. Seventy-five percent of patients were improved at 1 week.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy*
  • Arthralgia / etiology*
  • Arthralgia / prevention & control*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects*
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Lidocaine