Arm versus forearm tourniquet for carpal tunnel decompression - Which is better? A randomized controlled trial

G. R. Cousins (Lead / Corresponding author), S. L. Gill, C. G. Tinning, S. M. Johnson, P. K. Rickhuss

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    UNLABELLED: Tourniquet pain is a common source of complaint for patients undergoing carpal tunnel decompression and practice varies as to the tourniquet position used. There is little evidence to suggest benefit of one position over another. Our aim was to compare patient and surgeon experience of forearm and arm tourniquets. Following a power calculation, 100 patients undergoing open carpal tunnel decompression under local anaesthetic were randomized to either an arm or a forearm tourniquet. Measurements of blood pressure, heart rate and pain were taken at 2.5 min intervals. The operating surgeon also provided a visual analogue scale rating for the extent of bloodless field achieved and for any obstruction caused by the tourniquet. There was no statistically significant inter-group difference in patient pain or physiological response, tourniquet time, bloodless field or length of procedure. The degree of obstruction caused by the tourniquet was significantly higher in the forearm group.

    LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: I. Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)961-965
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)
    Issue number9
    Early online date14 Jan 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


    • Adult
    • Aged
    • Aged, 80 and over
    • Anesthetics, Local
    • Arm
    • Blood Pressure
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Decompression, Surgical
    • Female
    • Forearm
    • Heart rate
    • Humans
    • Lidocaine
    • Male
    • Middle aged
    • Prospective studies
    • Tourniquets
    • Visual analog scale
    • Journal article
    • randomized controlled trial


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