Impact of Tourniquet Strategy on Perioperative Results of Modern TKA

Richard D. Rames, Jacob Haynes, Michael Hellman, Toby Barrack, Robert Barrack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent changes in perioperative management of total knee patients including tranexamic acid, multimodal pain management, and periarticular injection make previous data on tourniquet use during total knee arthroplasty (TKA) less relevant. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of tourniquet use on short-term postoperative outcomes in the era of modern TKA. Our institutional database was utilized to retrospectively identify three cohorts (long, short, and no tourniquet) of consecutive patients after unilateral TKA with a single surgeon. These three groups were compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and post hoc Tukey's tests. Primary endpoints being hemoglobin index (difference in preoperative and postoperative hemoglobin), inpatient narcotic use, surgical time, length of hospital stay (total hours and % day1 discharges), and distance ambulated prior to discharge. The no-tourniquet group used significantly less narcotic than the short-tourniquet (2.4 vs. 2.9 morphine equivalent/hour, p = 0.004) and long-tourniquet groups (2.4 vs. 3.4 morphine equivalents/hour, p < 0.001). The no-tourniquet group ambulated significantly further than patients in the short (108 vs. 57 feet, p < 0.001) and long (108 vs. 76 feet, p < 0.001) groups. Finally, the no-tourniquet group had significantly shorter duration of hospitalization than the long-tourniquet group in both hours in the hospital (35 vs. 57 hours, p < 0.001) and % postoperative day 1 discharge (57 vs. 12%, p < 0.001). TKA without the use of a tourniquet is associated with less narcotic consumption and increased distance ambulated prior to discharge compared with cohorts of patients utilizing tourniquet for a short or long duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-991
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Knee Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • opiates
  • pain
  • primary total knee arthroplasty
  • tourniquet


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Tourniquet Strategy on Perioperative Results of Modern TKA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this