Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Anesthesia Method, Tourniquet Use, and Persistent Postsurgical Pain after Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Prespecified Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Trial

List of Authors: Palanne Riku A, Rantasalo Mikko T, Vakkuri Anne P, Madanat Rami, Olkkola Klaus T, Reponen Elina M, Linko Rita, Vahlberg Tero J, Skants Noora KA


Publication year: 2021

Journal: Anesthesiology

Journal name in source: ANESTHESIOLOGY

Journal acronym: ANESTHESIOLOGY

Volume number: 135

Issue number: 4

Number of pages: 12

ISSN: 0003-3022



Background: Persistent postsurgical pain after total knee arthroplasty is a common problem and a major reason for patient dissatisfaction. This secondary analysis aimed to investigate the effects of anesthesia (spinal vs. general) and tourniquet use on persistent pain after total knee arthroplasty.

Methods: In this secondary analysis of a previously presented parallel, single-center, randomized trial, 404 patients scheduled for total knee arthroplasty were randomized to spinal versus general anesthesia and no-tourniquet versus tourniquet groups. Patients assessed pain using the Brief Pain Inventory-short form preoperatively and 3 and 12 months postoperatively. The prespecified main outcome was the change in "average pain" measured with numerical 0 to 10 rating scale 1 yr postoperatively. The threshold for clinical importance between groups was set to 1.0.

Results: The change in average pain scores 1 yr postoperatively did not differ between the spinal and general anesthesia groups (-2.6 [SD 2.5] vs. -2.3 [SD 2.5], respectively; mean difference, -0.4; 95% CI, - 0.9 to 0.1; P = 0.150). The no-tourniquet group reported a smaller decrease in the average pain scores than the tourniquet group (-2.1 [SD 2.7] vs. -2.8 [SD 2.3]; mean difference, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.1 to 1.1; P = 0.012). After 1 yr, the scores concerning the mean of four pain severity variables (numerical rating scale) decreased more in the spinal than in the general anesthesia group (-2.3 [SD 2.2] vs. -1.8 [SD 2.1]; mean difference, -0.5; 95% CI, -0.9 to - 0.05; P = 0.029) and less in the no- tourniquet than in the tourniquet group (-1.7 [SD 2.3] vs. -2.3 [SD 2.0]; mean difference, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.2 to 1.0; P = 0.005). None of the differences in pain scores reached the threshold for clinical importance.

Conclusions: The type of anesthesia (spinal vs. general) or tourniquet use has no clinically important effect on persistent postsurgical pain after total knee arthroplasty.

Last updated on 2022-10-02 at 14:20