Accuracy of arthroscopic fluid pump systems in shoulder surgery: a comparison of 3 different pump systems

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2020 Dec;29(12):2626-2631. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2020.03.039. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


Background: Extra-articular fluid extravasation is a known complication during shoulder arthroscopy. The risk and amount of extravasation to a large degree is dependent on the fluid pressure delivered to the surgical site. Accurate measurement, knowledge, and control of the pressure delivered is thus important to surgeons, anesthetists, and the patient. The purpose of this study was to compare the pressure measurement accuracy of 3 arthroscopic fluid pumps, with 2 of them having 2 different settings.

Methods: Twenty-five patients (n = 5 per group) undergoing shoulder arthroscopy were selected. Three different arthroscopic fluid pumps (ConMed 24K, Stryker Crossflow, Arthrex Dual Wave) were tested in 5 different operational settings (Stryker, standard and dynamic mode; ConMed, with and without TIPS; Arthrex Dual Wave). In each operation, the set pump pressures and the subsequently delivered intra-articular surgical site fluid pressures were measured by a spinal needle connected to an anesthetic standard pressure transducer attached to the anesthetic machine. Independent measures of the surgical site pressures were obtained before multiple portals were created or extravasation had occurred. Measurements were taken at the beginning of surgery.

Results: Measurements of the mean intra-articular pressure were found to not be significantly different from the set pressure for the ConMed 24K with TIPS (0.98 ± 0.02-fold) and Stryker Crossflow in standard mode (0.98 ± 0.02-fold). However, actual pressure was significantly greater than the set pressure for the ConMed 24K without TIPS (by 1.30 ± 0.13-fold), Stryker Crossflow in dynamic mode (by 1.82 ± 0.08-fold), and Arthrex Dual Wave (by 2.19 ± 0.06-fold).

Conclusion: Independently measured intra-articular pressure can be more than double the set pressure for some arthroscopic pumps. Measuring intra-articular pressure can thus aid in adjusting the set pressure. This could minimize the risk of intraoperative complications.

Keywords: Shoulder arthroscopy; fluid pump system; intra-articular pressure measurement; pump pressure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Arthroscopy / instrumentation*
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Pressure
  • Shoulder Joint* / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Joint* / surgery
  • Synovial Fluid / physiology*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / adverse effects*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / instrumentation*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods