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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jul-Aug;9(4):253-7.

Arterial complications and total knee arthroplasty.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Arterial complications after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are rare; however, the sequelae can be disastrous. Infection and the need for amputation or vascular reconstructive surgery are not uncommon. A thorough preoperative assessment can identify at-risk patients, many, if not all, of whom have preexisting peripheral arterial disease. In the presence of peripheral arterial disease, the use of a tourniquet during TKA has been implicated in subsequent arterial complications. Following the guidelines that have been established regarding preoperative assessment, the role of the vascular surgeon, and the use of a tourniquet before and during TKA can assist the orthopaedic surgeon in assessing candidates for TKA and reducing the risk of arterial complications.

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