Use of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy on Closed Surgical Incision After Total Ankle Arthroplasty

Takumi Matsumoto, Selene G Parekh
Foot & Ankle International 2015, 36 (7): 787-94

BACKGROUND: Wound healing problems of the anterior ankle incision are among the most common complications after total ankle arthroplasty, possibly resulting in exposure of the prostheses and infection. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in decreasing the rate of wound healing problems after total ankle arthroplasty.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study including consecutive patients who underwent total ankle arthroplasty by a single surgeon at a single institution between 2009 and 2013. The incisional negative pressure dressing was applied to all patients who underwent total ankle arthroplasty between 2012 and 2013 with a continuous application of -80 mm Hg negative pressure for 6 days postoperatively. The control group consisted of patients who underwent total ankle arthroplasty between 2009 and 2012 with a conventional nonadherent gauze dressing. Seventy-four patients were involved in this study: 37 in the control group and 37 in the incisional NPWT group.

RESULTS: All patients tolerated the incisional NPWT to completion without any dressing failures or skin problems. Both groups showed similar distributions in demographics and perioperative risk factors for wound healing. There were 9 (24%) wound healing problems in the control group and 1 (3%) in the incisional NPWT group. Incisional NPWT was found to reduce wound healing problems with an odds ratio of 0.10 (95% CI, 0.01-0.50; P = .004).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that there was a decreased incidence of wound healing problems following total ankle arthroplasty with incisional NPWT dressings. This is the first study evaluating the efficacy of incisional NPWT as an adjunct treatment for wound healing after total ankle arthroplasty.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

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