Periarticular Injection of Tranexamic Acid Promotes Early Recovery of the Range of Knee Motion after Total Knee Arthroplasty

PURPOSE:

Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a commonly used compound that reduces postoperative blood loss. Periarticular injection of TXA is a recently reported procedure with some advantages such as cost-effectiveness and the ease of performance over an intravenous or topical administration. However, its association with functional recovery remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the effect of periarticular injection of TXA on early postoperative recovery of knee functionality after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

METHODS:

Eighty-four patients who underwent primary unilateral TKA from February 2013 to August 2016 were classified into two groups based on whether they received TXA injection (44 cases each in the TXA and control groups). Patients in the TXA group received periarticular injection of TXA (1000 mg) just prior to incision closure. Ten-meter walk test (s), pain visual analog scale, knee extension muscle force (N), range of motion (ROM) (maximum flexion angle, maximum extension angle, and motion arc), and blood loss (mL) were assessed.

RESULTS:

The maximum flexion angle and maximal extension angle on postoperative day (POD) 4, POD7, POD10, and POD14 in the TXA group were significantly larger than those in the control group. The postoperative drained blood in the TXA group was significantly less than that of the control group (543.9 ± 464.3 mL and 814.9 ± 481.4 mL, respectively, p < 0.05). No significant difference was observed in the other parameters at any time point.

CONCLUSION:

Periarticular injection of TXA significantly promotes early recovery of knee ROM after TKA. Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.