The routine use of surgical drains in elective hip arthroplasty has been abandoned. Also in acute hip arthroplasty for femoral neck fractures drain use reduces. Question is, whether this is justified in geriatric patients, where the incidence of anticoagulation use is high. Therefore, the aim of this study is to compare the clinical outcomes in patients with and without the use of a wound drain after hip hemiarthroplasty.
Data were extracted from a prospective hip fracture database and completed by retrospective review of the hospital records at two level II trauma centers between January 1st 2010 and May 16th 2016. Patients with a femoral neck fracture requiring hip hemiarthroplasty were included in the study.
This study cohort included 900 patients (68% female), with a median age of 83.5 (IQR 78–88), of which 544 (60%) had a wound drain. Patients with a wound drain needed more days to be ready for discharged (10.0 days (SD ± 43.3), P = < 0.001) compared to patients without a drain (5.3 days (SD ± 4.2). With a drain more hemoglobin loss was found, 2.66 g/dL versus 2.4 g/dL (P = 0.008) and also more packed cells were supplemented, 0.29 versus 0.13 (P = 0.0016). Wound drain placement showed a statistically significant inverse relation with post-operative hematoma; odds ratio (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.39; 0.94, P = 0.024), but no reduced risk of post-operative deep surgical site infection, (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.43; 2.72, P = 0.862).
Surgical drain placement was not associated with a reduced risk of post-operative deep surgical site infections, nor one-year mortality. However, a decreased risk of post-operative wound hematoma was observed. Furthermore, patients with a drain needed more days to be ready for discharge, show more hemoglobin loss and need more packed cell supplementation during admission.