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A randomized double-blinded study consisting of 107 patients was conducted to compare the effect on post-operative pain relief of intra-articular fentanyl and intra-articular bupivacaine after knee arthroscopy. The results showed that intra-articular bupivacaine produced superior analgesia in the immediate post-operative period. At 2 h post-operatively, the intra-articular bupivacaine group had a mean pain score of 2.0 (standard deviation 2.1, P <0.05) compared with the intra-articular fentanyl group which had a mean pain score of 3.2 (standard deviation 2.3, P <0.05) After 2 h post-operatively, intra-articular bupivacaine and intra-articular fentanyl had a similar effect on pain scores. The mean pain score 18 h post-operatively was 2.7 for the intra-articular bupivacaine group (standard deviation 2.2, P value 0.6) compared with the intra-articular fentanyl group which had a mean pain score of 2.8 (standard deviation 1.9, P value 0.6).
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