Tourniquet Use Improves Cement Penetration and Reduces Radiolucent Line Progression at 5 Years After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Vishal Hegde, Daniel N. Bracey, Roseann M. Johnson, Douglas A. Dennis, Jason M. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Although the effect of tourniquet use during total knee arthroplasty (TKA) on functional outcomes is controversial, there are little data examining cement penetration and implant stability. This study examines the effect of tourniquet use on cement penetration and radiolucent line (RLL) progression. Methods: Patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty with a single surgeon, implant, and cement with minimum 5-year follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Tourniquet use was defined as 30 minutes minimum, while no tourniquet was 0 minutes. Patients were 1:1 matched (n = 61 per group) by age (±5), gender, body mass index (±5), and follow-up (±2 years). Cement penetration and RLL were measured on the tibia at 6 weeks, and RLL at 1, 2, and 5 years postoperatively using the Knee Society Radiographic Evaluation System. Results: Cement penetration was significantly increased in the tourniquet group in anterior-posterior zones 1 (2.16 vs 1.03 mm, P < .0005), 2 (2.23 vs 1.51 mm, P < .0005), and 5 (8.56 vs 6.3 mm, P = .009), and lateral zones 1 (2.89 vs 2.17 mm, P < .0005), 2 (2.86 vs 2.12 mm, P < .0005), 3P (3.99 vs 3.5 mm, P = .039), and 5 (8.18 vs 5.93 mm, P = .006). Cumulative cement penetration averaged 34.48 vs 43.33 mm in the tourniquet group (P < .005). Progression of RLL >2 mm was observed in 27.8% (17/61) vs 11.4% (7/61) of patients in the tourniquet group (P < .005). There were 2 failures for aseptic tibial loosening in the no tourniquet group. Conclusion: Tourniquet use improves cement penetration and reduces RLL progression. Dryer surfaces during cementation may improve penetration, resulting in superior initial fixation strength and potentially reducing the long-term risk of aseptic loosening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S209-S214
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • aseptic revision
  • cement penetration
  • radiolucent lines
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • tourniquet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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