Post-operative limb position can influence blood loss and range of motion after total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review

Cesare Faldini, Francesco Traina, Marcello De Fine, Marco Pedrini, Andrea Sambri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: A consistent post-operative limb positioning regime could be an attractive, simple and cost-effective alternative to improve patient’s outcomes after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review of the available literature in order to understand whether a consistent post-operative limb positioning regime could affect blood loss and range of motion (ROM) after TKA. Methods: A search was performed using the keywords “total knee replacement/knee prosthesis” in combination with “post-operative management”, “blood loss”, “range of motion”, “leg position”, “flexion”, “extension” and “splinting” regardless of the year of publication. The scientific databases have been accessed in order to identify papers dealing with post-operative limb positioning regimes after TKA. Results: Seven articles matching the inclusion criteria were selected. Blood loss and ROM were both investigated in all but one paper, in which only blood loss was evaluated. There were six randomized controlled trials and one prospective comparative study. A 48–72 h post-operative knee flexion protocol seems to be effective in reducing blood loss and increasing ROM following TKA. We did also find no benefit in using extension splints in the immediate post-operative period. Conclusions: Based on the studies undertaken to date, a 48–72 h post-operative knee flexion protocol should be implemented as an easy and inexpensive method of reducing blood loss and increasing ROM following TKA. Shorter flexion regimes failed to influence these parameters. Level of evidence: II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-859
Number of pages8
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Blood loss
  • Post-operative limb position
  • Range of motion
  • Total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

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