The Efficacy and Safety of Glucocorticoid on Periarticular Infiltration Analgesia in Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

J Arthroplasty. 2021 Sep;36(9):3340-3350. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2021.03.056. Epub 2021 Apr 26.


Background: The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the effect and safety of multimodal cocktail protocols implemented with or without glucocorticoids on periarticular infiltration analgesia (PIA) in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Methods: We comprehensively searched the PubMed, Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases up to November 2020 for randomized controlled trials on glucocorticoids as a component of the cocktail protocol used in PIA for patients with TKA.

Results: Our meta-analysis included 11 randomized controlled trial studies with 1051 primary TKAs (930 patients). Visual analog scale scores at postoperative day (POD) 1 and POD 2 in the glucocorticoid groups were significantly lower than those in the control group (95% CI [-1.01--0.10], P = .02; 95% CI [-0.51--0.13], P = .001). Furthermore, the glucocorticoid group was associated with a statistically significant improvement in the range of motion at POD 1 (95% CI [3.20-8.05] P < .00001), reduction in total morphine consumption at 24 hours, and lower levels of C-reactive protein on POD 2/3 compared with the control group. However, neither the length of hospital stays nor the long-term Knee Society Knee Score showed any differences between the two groups. In addition, the results of subgroup analyses favored triamcinolone acetonide over betamethasone, methylprednisolone, and dexamethasone regarding the postoperative visual analog scale scores and range of motion.

Conclusion: Glucocorticoid supplementation in PIA is effective and does not increase complications or side effects for patients with either unilateral or bilateral TKA. Moreover, triamcinolone acetonide could be recommended in multimodal cocktail protocols for glucocorticoid supplementation.

Keywords: cocktail protocol; glucocorticoid; meta-analysis; periarticular infiltration analgesia; total knee arthroplasty; triamcinolone acetonide.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia*
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee* / adverse effects
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Glucocorticoids