Effects of anaesthesia method and tourniquet use on recovery following total knee arthroplasty: a randomised controlled study.
We investigated the effects of spinal and general anaesthesia and surgical tourniquet on acute pain and early recovery after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).Patients (n=413) were randomised to four parallel groups: spinal anaesthesia with or without tourniquet, and general anaesthesia with or without tourniquet. The primary outcome was patient-controlled i.v. oxycodone consumption over 24 postoperative hours.Results from 395 subjects were analysed. Median i.v. oxycodone consumption did not differ between the four groups (spinal anaesthesia without [36.6 mg] and with tourniquet [38.0 mg], general anaesthesia without [42.3 mg] and with tourniquet [42.5 mg], P=0.42), between spinal (37.7 mg) and general anaesthesia (42.5 mg) groups (median difference -3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] -7.4 to 1.2, P=0.15) and between tourniquet and no-tourniquet groups (40.0 vs 40.0 mg, median difference -0.8, CI -5.1 to 3.5, P=0.72). Vomiting incidence was higher with spinal than with general anaesthesia (21% [42/200] vs 13% [25/194], CI 1.05 to 3.1, P=0.034). The mean haemoglobin decrease was greater without than with tourniquet (-3.0 vs -2.5 g dl-1, mean difference -0.48, CI -0.65 to -0.32, P<0.001). No differences were observed in pain, pain management, incidences of blood transfusions, in-hospital complications, or length of hospital stay.For TKA, spinal and general anaesthesia with or without tourniquet did not differ in 24-h postoperative opioid consumption, pain management, blood transfusions, in-hospital complications, and length of hospital stay. Vomiting incidence was higher in the spinal than in the general anaesthesia group. Tourniquet use caused smaller decreases in haemoglobin levels.EudraCT 2016-002035-15.