Association of tourniquet utilization with blood loss, rehabilitation, and complications in Chinese obese patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty: A retrospective study

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Abstract

Obesity not only gives rise to more blood loss volume but also correlates with postoperative rehabilitation and complications in surgical patients. It is not clear at present whether tourniquet utilization is associated with blood loss, rehabilitation, and complications, and it is imperative to ascertain the tactics of utilizing tourniquet in obese patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The present study was designed to explore the association of tourniquet utilization with blood loss, rehabilitation, and complications, and ascertain the tactics of utilizing tourniquet in obese patients undergoing TKA.

A total of 130 patients from January 2014 to December 2014 were categorized into tourniquet group (n = 94) and non-tourniquet group (n = 36) based on whether the tourniquet was utilized or not during operation. Recorded data were as follows: total blood loss volume, intraoperative blood loss volume, hidden blood loss volume, blood transfusion volume, drainage volume, difference between hemoglobin value before operation and that on the fifth day after operation (5d Hb D-value), thigh swelling rate and visual analogue scale (VAS) score of motion pain, and Knee Society Score (KSS) score.

Mean age was 65.27 ± 7.43 (49–82) years, and 15 patients (11.5%) were men. No significant difference in total blood loss volume, drainage volume, blood transfusion volume, and 5d Hb D-value was noted between the 2 groups (P > .05 for all). Tourniquet group had significantly less intraoperative blood loss volume and significantly more hidden blood loss volume than the non-tourniquet group (P < .05 for all). Tourniquet group had significantly higher thigh swelling rate and VAS score of motion pain on the third day after operation, and significantly lower KSS function score in the third week after operation than non-tourniquet group (P < .05). No significant difference in KSS function score in the first year after operation was found between the 2 groups (P > .05). No difference in postoperative complications was observed between the groups (P > .05).

The current study demonstrated that the tourniquet is not associated with reduced blood loss and increased postoperative complications in obese patients undergoing TKA. Step-down postoperative rehabilitation related to tourniquet is short-term rather than long-term in obese patients undergoing TKA.

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