Utilization of Ketamine in Total Knee and Hip Joint Arthroplasty: An Evidence-Based Review

Published:August 16, 2022DOI:



      To evaluate the efficacy of ketamine in total knee and hip arthroplasty.


      Evidence-based review.


      Following the guidelines outlined in the PRISMA statement, a comprehensive search was conducted using Google Scholar, PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Collaboration, and other grey literature. Only randomized controlled studies and pre-appraised evidence such as systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effects of ketamine in total knee and hip arthroplasty were included. The quality appraisal of the literature was conducted using the proposed algorithm described in the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Evidence Level and Quality Guide.


      Three systematic reviews and meta-analyses and 2 randomized controlled trials involving 1284 patients were included in this review. The use of ketamine reduced pain scores within the 24 hours after surgery. In addition, evidence suggests that patients who were treated with ketamine consumed fewer opioids 24 and 48 hours after surgery. Furthermore, ketamine reduced the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting with no effects on the incidence of hallucinations and central nervous system side effects. All studies included in the review were categorized as Level I and rated Grade A implying strong confidence in the true effects of ketamine in all outcome measures in the review.


      The current evidence demonstrates the viability of ketamine as a safe and effective alternative to opioids in the perioperative setting with major total joint arthroplasty surgery. Decreased pain scores and opioid consumption up to 48 hours into the postoperative period were observed in a number of the appraised articles.
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