BACKGROUND: Prosthetic joint infection is a rare, but devastating complication of primary total hip arthroplasty (THA). Postoperative wound discharge and deep infection are related. We examined whether barbed sutures were associated with a decrease in the incidence of postoperative wound discharge when compared with skin closure using metal staples.
METHODS: Prospective nonrandomized comparison between two groups (35 barbed suture closures vs. 49 staple closures). Wounds were assessed daily for postoperative wound discharge until dry. Hemoglobin and hematocrit were recorded at the preoperative assessment and on day 3 postoperative.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to age, body mass index, gender, preoperative hemoglobin, preoperative hematocrit, or estimated blood volume. The number of days elapsed until the wound was dry was significantly lower in the barbed suture group than the staples group (p < 0.0001). In the staples cohort, ongoing wound ooze resulted in delayed hospital discharge in three (6%) patients, six bed days total.
CONCLUSION: Barbed sutures reliably reduce the period of postoperative wound ooze following primary THA compared to staple closure. The use of barbed sutures may prevent delayed patient discharge from hospital, decreasing the bed burden.
- Centre for Surgical Research
- barbed suture
- wound discharge
- Total hip arthroplasty
- wound closure