Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Bleeding Risk With Ketorolac After Lumbar Microdiscectomy

Chin, Kingsley R. MD*; Sundram, Hariharan MD; Marcotte, Paul MD

Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques: April 2007 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 123-126
doi: 10.1097/
Original Articles

There is a need to improve postoperative analgesia to support the trend to shorter hospitalization after minimally invasive spine surgeries. Ketorolac Tromethamine has proven efficacy in decreasing postoperative pain but there is concern with postoperative epidural bleeding after spine procedures. We prospectively assessed the incidence of bleeding complications after microdiscectomy in patients treated with a single 30 mg intraoperative dose of Ketorolac subsequent to wound closure. Group 1 consisted of 44 patients, 24 women and 20 men with mean age of 35.7 years (20 to 68 y) treated with Ketorolac. Group 2 consisted of 45 patients, 28 men and 17 women with mean age 46.8 years (32 to 74 y), who underwent discectomy without Ketorolac. Postoperative bleeding complications were monitored along with pain levels and time to discharge. We detected no significant postoperative changes in coagulation parameters or bleeding from the surgical site in either group. Both group 1 and 2 had averaged preoperative visual analog scale scores for leg pain of 8. Group 1 had an average postoperative visual analog scale score of 2.6 compared with 4 for group 2 two hours after surgery. Single dose intravenous Ketorolac provided beneficial analgesia without significant increase in risk of bleeding after microdiscectomy, enabling us to consistently perform microdiscectomy as an ambulatory procedure. Meticulous hemostasis should be accomplished before closure. Prolonged postoperative use is a promising alternative to narcotics.

Spine Surgery Service, Departments of *Orthopaedics


Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Reprints: Kingsley R. Chin, MD, Department of Orthopaedics, 2 Silverstein, 3400 Spruce Street, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (e-mail:

Received for publication September 5, 2005; accepted January 16, 2006

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.