Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised controlled trials that compared tourniquet assisted with non-tourniquet assisted arthroscopic knee surgery, in patients of at least 16 years old, were eligible for inclusion.
The primary review outcomes were intra-operative difficulties and surgical field visibility. Secondary outcomes were pain, intra-operative blood loss, postoperative blood loss, operation time, range of motion, muscle strength, and complications (including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, neurological impairment and wound healing disorders).
The majority of included trials evaluated tourniquet with 444 non-anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction arthroscopic knee procedures, whilst the other trials evaluated tourniquet with 167 arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions. Where reported, tourniquet inflation pressures ranged from 100 to 450mmHg, and the duration of tourniquet application ranged from 17.1 to 94 minutes. The mean age of included patients ranged from 22 to 47.7 years.
Two reviewers independently assessed studies for inclusion, with any disagreement resolved by consensus.