Comparison of two alternative wound closure methods for tumor arthroplasty of the hip: A frequency matched cohort study

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of an alternative wound closure method after tumor arthroplasty of the hip compared to routine wound closure with skin staples.

METHOD: Single center, frequency matched cohort study. We reviewed all patients who underwent tumor resection and endoprosthetic reconstruction of the proximal femur for pathologic fracture due to metastatic bone disease or malignant hematologic bone disease at our center between 2010 and 2014. All patients treated with occlusive wound closure (OWC), a combination of intradermal suture, Steri-Strips™, and an occlusive skin adhesive, during this period ( n = 35), were compared to an equally sized frequency matched group of patients having undergone routine wound closure with conventional skin staples.

RESULTS: Patients with OWC were significantly faster to achieve dry wound status and consequently had significantly shorter administration of antibiotics and hospital stay. Compared to the patients with conventional wound closure with staples, their wounds were already dry after a mean 3.4 days (vs. 6.7 days [95%CI: 3-3.8 vs. 5.5-7.9], p < 0.0001), they received antibiotics for a mean 4.2 days (vs. 6.8 days [95%CI: 3.7-4.8 vs. 5.5-8.0], p < 0.0003) and their mean hospital stay was 6.3 days (vs. 8.0 days [95%CI: 5.5-7 vs. 6.8-9.3], p < 0.015). Prolonged wound discharge (PWD) for 7 days or more was observed in 34% of patients ( n = 12) in the conventional group, whereas this complication was completely absent ( n = 0) in the investigational group. For every three patients treated with OWC, one complication of PWD over 7 days is avoided (number needed to treat = 3).

CONCLUSION: Compared to conventional staples, OWC appears to significantly reduce wound complications, use of antibiotics, and hospital stay in patients undergoing tumor arthroplasty procedures of the hip. As such, it may also contribute to a reduction of the substantially increased risk for prosthetic joint infection in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2309499018792436
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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