The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S17 - S23

The AAHKS Clinical Research Award: Prophylactic Tamsulosin Does Not Reduce the Risk of Urinary Retention Following Lower Extremity Arthroplasty: A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

Manuel F. Schubert, Jared R. Thomas, Joel J. Gagnier, Caitlin M. McCarthy, John J. Lee, Andrew G. Urquhart, Aidin Eslam Pour
Hip Knee


Postoperative urinary retention (POUR) is common. Selective alpha-1 adrenergic antagonists, such as tamsulosin, are effective for treating urinary retention. The purpose of this study is to determine whether perioperative prophylactic tamsulosin reduces the incidence of POUR following total hip and knee arthroplasty.


Male patients 35 years of age and older undergoing primary total hip or knee arthroplasty at a single center from 2015 to 2018 were eligible for inclusion. Patients were randomized to receive tamsulosin 0.4 mg or placebo daily for 5 days preoperatively, the morning of surgery, and the first postoperative day. The incidence of POUR was determined during the postoperative hospitalization.


A total of 176 patients were enrolled in the study. Two patients were withdrawn prior to randomization. The remaining 174 were randomized to tamsulosin (n = 87) or placebo (n = 87). After an additional 43 patients were withdrawn prior to surgery, 131 patients completed the study (tamsulosin, n = 64; placebo, n = 67). A total of 42 patients (32.1%) developed POUR, with 18 cases (28.1%) in the tamsulosin group and 24 cases (35.8%) in the placebo group ( P = .345), resulting in an odds ratio of 0.701 and a risk difference of 7.69%.


Prophylactic tamsulosin did not reduce the incidence of POUR after hip and knee arthroplasty compared to placebo. The odds ratio indicates an approximately 30% decreased odds of developing POUR in the tamsulosin group, albeit not statistically significant. Tamsulosin does not appear to be effective as a prophylactic measure for reducing POUR in male hip and knee arthroplasty patients.

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