To assess whether candy cane stirrup use is associated with an increased risk of lower extremity peripheral neuropathy compared with boot stirrups in women undergoing surgery requiring dorsal lithotomy positioning.
This retrospective cohort study (June 2008–August 2015) included patients who underwent gynecologic surgery for benign indication lasting 60 minutes or longer in the lithotomy position. Patients with preexisting neurologic disease were excluded. Stirrup type, demographics, medical history, surgical factors, and relevant outcomes were collected from the medical record. Postoperative neuropathy was identified in clinical diagnoses or in physician documentation through the 6-week postoperative visit. Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared using Student’s t test, χ2 test, or Fisher exact test. Logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for other clinical characteristics associated with the outcome at P≤.1.
The study included 2,449 patients, 1,838 (75.1%) with boot and 611 (24.9%) with candy cane stirrups. Women positioned in boot stirrups were younger (mean age 45.6 years [SD 13.5] vs 55.9 [SD 15.7] years; P<.001), heavier (mean body mass index [BMI] 31.5 [SD 8.7] vs 29.6 [SD 7.0]; P<.001), more likely to smoke (n=396 [21.5%] vs n=105 [17.2%]; P=.021), and had longer surgical duration (mean 176.5 minutes [SD 90.0] vs 145.3 [SD 63.9] minutes; P<.001), respectively. Diabetes (8.3%) did not differ between the groups (P=.122. Neuropathy occurred less often in the boot cohort (n=29, 1.6%, 95% CI 1.1–2.3%) than in the candy cane cohort (n=21, 3.4%, 95% CI 2.1–5.2%) (P=.008). After adjusting for age, BMI, smoking, anesthesia type and surgical time, only candy cane stirrup type (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.87, 95% CI 1.59–5.19) and surgical time (per hour) (aOR 1.40, 95% CI 1.20–1.63) were independently associated with postoperative neuropathy.
Candy cane stirrups are associated with a significantly increased risk of lower extremity postoperative neuropathy compared with boot stirrups for women undergoing gynecologic surgery for benign indication.