Background: Whether using the scalpel can provide better and faster recovery after the primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is still controversial. The aim of this research was to compare the clinical outcomes of using the scalpel and the electric cautery in primary TKA.
Methods: From January 2016 to December 2017, a retrospective cohort study was conducted in 313 patients who underwent unilateral primary TKA by using the scalpel (group S). During this period, we selected 313 patients who underwent unilateral primary TKA by using the electric cautery (group E) for comparison. The tourniquet time, operative time, blood loss, wound complications, visual analog score for pain, range of motion, Knee Society Score were assessed between the two groups. The Forgotten Joint Score was used to analyze the ability to forget the joint.
Results: There were no significant differences in tourniquet time, operative time, blood loss between the two groups (p > 0.05). In the group S, the visual analog score for pain, range of motion, Knee Society Score were found better results at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 24 months after surgery (p < 0.05). Besides, during the follow-up period, the Forgotten Joint Score was significantly higher compared with group E (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: In this research, the patients who underwent TKA by using the scalpel could achieve better clinical outcomes. In addition, if forgotten artificial joint after TKA was the final goal, the patients who underwent TKA by using the scalpel would acquire better quality of life.
Keywords: Electric cautery; Forgotten joint score; Scalpel; Total knee arthroplasty.