Incidence and Predictive Risk Factors of Postoperative Urinary Retention After Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty

Daniel N. Bracey, Vishal Hegde, Aviva K. Pollet, Roseann M. Johnson, Jason M. Jennings, Todd M. Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Postoperative urinary retention (POUR) after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may cause urologic injury and delay patient discharge. This study measures the incidence of POUR and identifies predictive risk factors. Methods: Two-hundred seventy-one consecutive patients undergoing primary unilateral TKA were prospectively enrolled. Bladder scans were performed in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) and every four hours thereafter. POUR was defined as >400cc with inability to void and was treated with catheterization. Patient demographics, urologic history, operative data, perioperative medications, and bladder scanner volumes were investigated with the univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Fifty-five patients (20%) developed POUR. Compared with non-POUR patients, PACU bladder scan volumes were greater in patients who developed POUR (344cc vs 120cc, P < .001). POUR patients had lower BMI (27.8 vs 29.4, P = .03), longer operative duration (83.9 vs 76.0 minutes, P = .002), and lower ASA scores (2.2 vs 2.4, P = .02). Total intravenous fluid was equivalent between groups (1134cc vs 1185cc, P = .41). POUR patients received less narcotics measured by morphine milligram equivalents (16.1 vs 23.9, P < .001). Fifteen variables including spinal type (bupivacaine and ropivacaine) and paralytic use were not predictive of POUR. Potentially predictive variables included anesthetic types administered (spinal, general, regional, and combination) and perioperative administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), glycopyrrolate, and muscle relaxants. The multivariate analysis showed that NSAIDs (P = .05) and glycopyrrolate (P = .04) were significant predictors. Conclusion: A significant percentage of patients develop POUR after TKA. Select patient demographics and PACU bladder scanning may identify those at risk. Appropriate pain control and judicious use of perioperative NSAIDs and glycopyrrolate may help minimize the risk of POUR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S345-S350
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • bladder scan
  • glycopyrrolate
  • outpatient surgery
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • urinary retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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