BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders BMC series 2016 17:438

A comparative, retrospective study of peri-articular and intra-articular injection of tranexamic acid for the management of postoperative blood loss after total knee arthroplasty

Zhenyang Mao, Bing Yue, You Wang, Mengning Yan & Kerong Dai


Intra-articular injection of tranexamic acid (TXA) is known to be effective in controlling blood loss after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, this method has some disadvantages, such as TXA leakage due to soft tissue release. Peri-articular injection provides an alternative to intra-articular administration of TXA. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of peri-articular injection of TXA in reducing blood loss after TKA and compare them to those of intra-articular TXA injection.


This was a retrospective analysis of 127 patients who underwent primary, unilateral TKA for knee osteoarthritis in our hospital between January 2014 and December 2014. Cases were classified into 3 comparison groups: 49 patients in the peri-articular TXA group, 36 in the intra-articular group, and 42 in the control group (TXA not administered). Demographic variables, hemoglobin (Hb) measured before and after surgery, operation time, total amount of drained volume, time of removing drains, units of blood transfused peri- and postoperatively, estimated volume of blood loss, and preoperative comorbidities were retrieved from the patients’ medical charts. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 19.0 software.


There were no significant differences of demographic variables and operation time among three groups (P > 0.05). Compared to the control group, both TXA groups had a significantly reduced volume of blood loss, postoperative knee joint drainage, hemoglobin concentration, time of removing drains, and need for blood transfusion (P < 0.05). The effects of TXA were comparable for the two methods of injection (P > 0.05). There were no deep venous thrombosis or thromboembolic complications in any group.


Peri-articular injection of TXA is as effective as an intra-articular injection in reducing postoperative blood loss during TKA. Both methods had a statistically significant benefit in reducing the change in Hb concentration, volume of joint drainage, and estimated volume of blood loss when compared to the control group. Peri-articular injection of TXA can significantly reduce the blood transfusion rate compared to the control group.

Download article