Ketamine and chronic post-surgical pain in major surgery non cardiac surgery

Ketamine and chronic post-surgical pain in major surgery non cardiac surgery


ROCKet: Reduction Of Chronic Post-surgical Pain with Ketamine

The Reduction Of Chronic Post-surgical Pain with Ketamine (ROCKet) trial is a five-year, 4000 patient, multicentre, double-blind, placebo controlled, phase 3/4 randomised controlled trial of the effect of up to 72 hours of perioperative ketamine on the risk of development of chronic post-surgical pain.

Principal investigator

Professor Philip Peyton at the University of Melbourne and Austin Health.


ROCKet trial recruitment is steadily increasing and 72 per cent of the way through with 3504 participants randomised at 36 active sites in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand. The Biomarker sub-study has recruited 179 participants. There is funding to support the sub-study and we welcome sites to contact us with an expression of interest.

Trial summary

Study hypotheses
That intravenous ketamine given prior to and following surgical incision for up to three days reduces the incidence of chronic post-surgical pain at three months.

Study size
4000 patients.

Study design
Large, multicentre, randomised, double blind trial.

Primary outcome
Chronic post-surgical pain at three months.

Study population
Elective abdominal surgery involving a skin incision at least 8 cm in length, including open inguinal herniorraphy, non-cardiac thoracic surgery, including mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery and VATS, and major orthopaedic surgery (hip, knee and shoulder arthroplasty and spinal surgery).

Study duration
Five years.


The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council

Sub Studies

Biomarker determinants of ketamine response status in the ROCKet trial
Principal investigator: Professor Philip Peyton

Delirium sub-study
Principal investigator: Associate Professor Lis Evered

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry registration number: ACTRN12617001619336.

Per patient payment

$A650 (estimate)

How to get involved

For further information about ROCKet and the sub-studies, please contact the ROCKet Project Manager, Sofia Sidiropoulos by email.

For more information

Last updated 12:00 28.03.2023