Lower total blood loss in total knee arthroplasty with a low-pressure tourniquet than without


blood loss ; total knee arthroplasty ; tourniquet ; hemoglobin

Published online: Nov 22 2021


Simon Joufflineau, Emmanuel Thienpont

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Saint Luc-UCL, Brussels, Belgium


Tourniquet-use has been described in litera- ture as a surgical factor leading to increased post-operative hidden blood loss in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The hypothesis for this retro- spective study was that low-pressure tourniquet TKA would offer the benefits of tourniquet surgery without the potential negative effects on late blood loss after the procedure. Therefore, this study evaluated total (TBL) and hidden blood loss (HBL) in TKA with or without a tourniquet. We retrospectively compared two groups : one group (n= 54) undergoing TKA without a tourniquet and one group with a low-pressure tourniquet (n= 110). The outcomes compared were hemoglobin levels 2 weeks before surgery and at days 2 and 4 after surgery to calculate total and hidden blood loss, transfusion rate, and functional outcome. A higher total blood loss was observed in the no tourniquet group with a mean loss of 1073 mL against 890 mL in the tourniquet group (p-value = 0,003). Hidden blood loss values between both groups were statistically not significant : in the no-tourniquet group, Hb drop between D2 and D4 was 0.5 g/dL against 0.4 g/ dL in the low-pressure tourniquet group. The tourniquet-less group did not present with better functional scores. This study showed that low- pressure tourniquet use reduces TBL without increasing HBL in TKA.