Intraarticular botulinum toxin A for refractory painful total knee arthroplasty: A randomized controlled trial

Academic Article


  • Objective. To assess short-term efficacy of single intraarticular botulinum toxin (IA-BoNT/A) injection in patients with chronically painful total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a randomized, placebo-controlled, triple-blind study. Methods. Patients with chronic TKA pain (pain > 6 on 0-10 scale and > 6 months post-TKA) evaluated in and referred from orthopedic surgery clinics were recruited. The primary outcome, proportion of patients with clinically meaningful decrease of at least 2 points on 0-10 visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, was compared between treatment groups at 2 months using comparison of proportions test and for all efficacy timepoints (2, 3, and 4 months) using generalized estimating equations (GEE). Secondary outcomes of global assessment, function, and quality of life were compared using GEE, duration of pain relief by t-test, and adverse events by chi-square test. Results. In total, 54 patients with 60 painful TKA were randomized, with main analyses restricted to one TKA per patient (49 TKA in 49 patients). Mean age was 67 years, 84% were men, and mean duration of TKA pain was 4.5 years. A significantly greater proportion of patients (71%) in the IA-BoNT/A group compared to IA-placebo (35%) achieved clinically meaningful reduction in VAS pain at 2 months (p = 0.028) and at all efficacy timepoints (p = 0.019). Duration of meaningful pain relief was significantly greater after IA-BoNT/A, 39.6 days (SD 50.4) compared to IA-placebo, 15.7 days (SD 22.6; p = 0.045). Statistically significantly better scores were seen in IA-BoNT/A vs IA-placebo for all efficacy timepoints for the following outcomes: "very much improved" on physician global assessment of change (p = 0.003); Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index physical function (p = 0.026), stiffness (p = 0.004), and total scores (p = 0.024); and Short-Form 36 pain subscale score (p = 0.049). Number of total and serious adverse events was similar between groups, with no patients in either group with new objective motor or sensory deficits during follow-up. Conclusion. In this single-center randomized trial, single IA-BoNT/A injection provided clinically meaningful short-term improvements in pain, global assessment, and function in patients with chronic painful TKA. A multicenter trial is needed to confirm these findings. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Singh JA; Mahowald ML; Noorbaloochi S
  • Start Page

  • 2377
  • End Page

  • 2386
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 11