Department of Orthopedics Honghui Hospital, Xi'An Jiaotong University , No.555 East Youyi Road, Shanxi, Xi'an, China. Department of Orthopedics Honghui Hospital, Xi'An Jiaotong University , No.555 East Youyi Road, Shanxi, Xi'an, China. firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND Tourniquet application is expected to improve surgery exposure and cementation process in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) but its effectiveness remains controversial and needs to be further explored. The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the effect of tourniquet in primary TKA. The hypothesis is that the tourniquet application affects the cement penetration in TKA. METHODS A search was
conducted in PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for the potentially eligible articles. Two independent researchers reviewed the articles retrieved against the pre-designed inclusion and exclusion criteria. In primary TKA, cement penetration was assessed, and the data between the tourniquet-assisted and non-tourniquet-assisted TKAs were compared. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. RESULTS A total of 4 randomized controlled trials and 3 non-randomized controlled trials (involving 675 patients) were included. There was no significant difference between the tourniquet-assisted and non-tourniquet-assisted TKAs in terms of cement penetration (P > 0.05). There were no significant differences in the total surgical time, blood loss, blood transfusion, the Knee Society Score, and the visual analogue scale (VAS) between the two kinds of procedures (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Tourniquet application may not affect cement penetration in primary TKA and may not help reduce blood loss, ease knee pain or improve the knee function. A surgeon may choose to use a tourniquet or not according to his or her own preference. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Level Ib, meta-analysis.