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Keywords:

  • ketamine;
  • spinal surgery;
  • NMDA receptor

Summary

Providing effective analgesia is challenging for correction of idiopathic scoliosis, as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and epidural anesthesia are controversial and large-dose opioids can cause significant side effects. Perioperative adjuvant low-dose ketamine has been shown to provide good supplementary analgesia as well as to potentially spare opioid consumption. Ketamine may also improve early ease of mobility without addition of any noticeable adverse effects. This case describes the combined use of a continuous low-dose ketamine infusion and patient–controlled analgesia (PCA) morphine for postoperative analgesia in an adolescent girl undergoing posterior spinal instrumentation and correction of scoliosis. The patient had excellent postoperative analgesia and was able to participate in early rehabilitation. The opioid-sparing effect of ketamine was not demonstrated in this case. Further study of continuous low-dose ketamine infusions in this patient population would be beneficial to provide more evaluation of the efficacy and tolerability of ketamine and of its opioid-sparing potential.