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Clinical Trial
, 83 (1), 40-4

Tourniquet-induced Wound Hypoxia After Total Knee Replacement

Clinical Trial

Tourniquet-induced Wound Hypoxia After Total Knee Replacement

M T Clarke et al. J Bone Joint Surg Br.


We have investigated whether the thigh tourniquet used during total knee replacement (TKR) influenced the development of postoperative wound hypoxia and was a cause of delayed wound healing. We allocated randomly 31 patients (31 TKRs) to one of three groups: 1) no tourniquet; 2) tourniquet inflated at low pressure (about 225 mmHg); and 3) tourniquet inflated to high pressure of about 350 mmHg. Wound oxygenation was measured using transcutaneous oxygen electrodes. In the first week after surgery, patients with a tourniquet inflated to a high pressure had greater wound hypoxia than those with a low pressure. Those without a tourniquet also had wound hypoxia, but the degree and duration were less pronounced than in either of the groups with a tourniquet. Use of a tourniquet during TKR can increase postoperative wound hypoxia, especially when inflated to high pressures. Our findings may be relevant to wound healing and the development of wound infection.

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