Survey of tourniquet use in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery

TitleSurvey of tourniquet use in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsYounger, A. S. E., T. P. Kalla, J. A. McEwen, and K. Inkpen
JournalFoot & Ankle International

Background: Tourniquet technique varies among foot and ankle surgeons, and to establish a standard practice guideline the current standard of care should be examined. Methods: One hundred and forty responses were received after 253 surveys were mailed to American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) members, concerning type of tourniquets, location, and pressures used. Results: Cuff pressures most commonly used were 301 to 350 mmHg for thigh cuffs (49% of thigh cuff users) and 201 to 250 mmHG for calf and ankle cuffs (52% of calf cuff users, 66% of ankle cuff users). A substantial number of foot and ankle surgeons who use calf and ankle cuffs frequently use pressures above 250 mmHg (41% of calf cuff users, 19% of ankle cuff users). Only 9% use limb occlusion pressure when determining cuff pressure. Conclusion: Based on the existing evidence-based literature these pressures may be higher than necessary for many patients, and increased adoption of optimal pressure setting techniques as reported in the literature may help reduce tourniquet pressures used and risk of tourniquet injury. Respondents reported experiencing or hearing reports of breakthrough bleeding, nerve injury, and skin injuries under the cuff.

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