What’s the Claim?
To keep things practical, we almost never post about lab-science discoveries, but here’s one: Tranexamic acid (TXA) had toxic effects on chondrocytes. The doses the researchers used were high, but since they were plausibly comparable to some intra-articular applications during arthroscopic surgery (they studied 50 and 100 mg/mL), we considered this safety message relevant enough to share.
How’s It Stack Up?
The impact is probably best summarized in a sentence from CORRelations’ advisor in Arthroscopy & Sports, Brian Gilmer, MD: “TXA appears to be chondrotoxic, as are the local anesthetics we frequently inject and the epinephrine they are often mixed with.”
- A nice editorial in Arthroscopy last year makes for a good summary of what we know on that topic, if you’re curious, as does a well-done RCT that compared two commonly used local anesthetics and concluded by . . . recommending neither one (and instead favoring systemic management of pain rather than local anesthetics).
That about covers it. It doesn’t mean we don’t use those drugs in joints, and some lab data suggest that TXA may be less chondrotoxic than epinephrine, but if there are alternatives — and in this case, there’s a good one — why not make a potentially safer choice?