Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Total Hip and Knee Arthoplasty for Osteoarthritis

Factors Related to the Early Outcome of Surgery

Raimo Niskanen

Doctoral dissertation, November 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine and Departments of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lahti City Hospital and Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, Finland.

Some perioperative clinical factors related to the primary cemented arthroplasty operation for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee joint are studied and discussed in this thesis.

In a randomized, double-blind study, 39 patients were divided into two groups: one receiving tranexamic acid and the other not receiving it. Tranexamic acid was given in a dose of 10 mg/kg before the operation and twice thereafter, at 8-hour intervals. Total blood loss was smaller in the tranexamic acid group than in the control group. No thromboembolic complications were noticed.

In a prospective, randomized study, 58 patients with hip arthroplasty and 39 patients with knee arthroplasty were divided into groups with postoperative closed-suction drainage and without drainage. There was no difference in healing of the wounds, postoperative blood transfusions, complications or range of motion. As a result of this study, the use of drains is no longer recommended.

In a randomised study the effectiveness of a femoral nerve block (25 patients) was compared with other methods of pain control (24 patients) on the first postoperative day after total knee arthroplasty. The femoral block consisted of a single injection administered at patients´ bedside during the surgeon´s hospital rounds. Femoral block patients reported less pain and required half of the amount of oxycodone. Additional femoral block or continued epidural analgesia was required more frequently by the control group patients. Pain management with femoral blocks resulted in less work for nursing staff.

In a retrospective study of 422 total hip and knee arthroplasty cases the C-reactive protein levels and clinical course were examined. After hip and knee arthroplasty the maximal C-reactive protein values are seen on the second and third postoperative days, after which the level decreases rapidly. There is no difference between patients with cemented or uncemented prostheses. Major postoperative complications may cause a further increase in C-reactive protein levels at one and two weeks.

In-hospital and outpatient postoperative control radiographs of 200 hip and knee arthroplasties were reviewed retrospectively. If postoperative radiographs are of good quality, there seems to be no need for early repetitive radiographs. The quality and safety of follow-up is not compromised by limiting follow-up radiographs to those with clinical indications. Exposure of the patients and the staff to radiation is reduced. Reading of the radiographs by only the treating orthopaedic surgeon is enough.

These factors may seem separate from each other, but linking them together may help the treating orthopaedic surgeon to adequate patient care strategy. Notable savings can be achieved.

The title page of the publication

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© University of Helsinki 2006

Last updated 24.10.2006

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