Post-Operative Pain & Blisters
Many patients experience post-operative pain at the location where the tourniquet was placed during surgery
Post-operative pain in the surgery site is to be expected and normal following surgery. However, many patients experience post-operative pain at the location where the tourniquet was placed during surgery.
One scientific study was done in patients who had total knee replacement performed with a pneumatic tourniquet. 39.7% of these patients experienced thigh pain following surgery.
Another scientific study compared post-operative tourniquet pain in patients who had a pneumatic tourniquet, with patients who had HemaClear®.
- Among the pneumatic tourniquet patients, 35% suffered post-operative tourniquet pain.
- In the HemaClear® group only 12% had tourniquet pain after the operation.
Tourniquet pain, particularly after knee replacement operations is problematic. This pain restricts the patient’s ability to ambulate, even with a walker. In fact, tourniquet-related post-operative pain increases the likelihood of a patient requiring narcotic medications during the post-operative period, as reported in at least one large scientific study.
Use of pneumatic tourniquets has other disturbing adverse effects. These include injuries to the skin beneath the pneumatic cuff. They appear as abrasions with longitudinal blisters (photograph). Creases and folds of the inflated cuff cause pinch in the skin. This is amplified when the skin is wet.
A clinical study was done on patients undergoing knee replacement. 20.7% of patients had skin blisters several days following surgery.
The blisters appeared to resemble second-degree burns. Some surgeons and nurses call them “tourniquet burns.” But they’re actually caused by pinching and friction. Similarly, blisters appear when hiking with poorly fitting shoes and/or wet socks.
When HemaClear® is used, no blisters are ever observed and marks on the skin fade within an hour after the HemaClear® is removed.
It’s legitimate to discuss tourniquet pain and tourniquet burn with your surgeon and/or PA. These can be avoided by using HemaClear®.