Blood loss remains a significant source of morbidity and mortality in orthopaedic surgery, with transfusions associated with an increased risk of infection, length of stay, delayed rehabilitation, and significantly increased hospitalization costs. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) is effective in reducing postoperative blood loss in patients undergoing distal femoral osteotomy (DFO). A retrospective review was performed of all patients undergoing DFO by a single surgeon from 2010 to 2017, with a change in protocol occurring in 2014, after which all patients received TXA. Patients in the TXA group (n = 24) received 1-g TXA immediately prior to incision followed by a second dose of 1-g TXA 4 hours after the administration of the first dose. Patients in the control group (n = 28) did not receive TXA. Drainage was recorded through a subfascial drain that remained for 24 hours postoperatively. Postoperative hemoglobin, hematocrit, and transfusions, as well as demographic factors, including age, gender, body mass index (BMI), medical comorbidities, and ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) class, were recorded. Multivariate regression analysis adjusting for potential confounding variables was performed. With the exception of gender, the two groups did not differ significantly in baseline characteristics, including age, BMI, and ASA class. There was a significant difference in postoperative blood loss, with those receiving TXA having a mean drain output of 184.2 versus 242.1 mL for the control group (p = 0.02), which persisted after regression analysis (p < 0.005). Blood loss differed between patients who received one (250 mL) dose and those who received two (162.2 mL) doses of TXA, although this difference was insignificant (p = 0.489). There were no differences in postoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. One patient (control group) required blood transfusion postoperatively. There were no complications related to TXA. In conclusion, TXA results in less postoperative blood loss in DFO, with the most pronounced effect in those who receive two doses. Future research should involve a larger, prospective study to assess for differences in postoperative hemoglobin/hematocrit levels and transfusion rates.
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