Total hip arthroplasty is a commonly performed operation and yet little information exists about the duration of wound oozing, the factors associated with this and the implications. The aim of this work was to identify factors influencing wound oozing by establishing their effect on the time taken for wounds to cease oozing after total hip arthroplasty.PATIENTS AND METHODS
Sixty-two consecutive patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty were included. Wounds were examined for wound oozing on a daily basis by the same observer and were then re-dressed. The time taken for each wound to become dry was recorded. Data were analysed to determine if the time-to-dryness was influenced by wound length, body mass index, estimated volume of blood in the dissected tissues, duration of surgery and ASA grade.RESULTS
Time to dryness was associated with wound length (P = 0.01), body mass index (BMI, P = 0.05), estimated volume of blood in dissected tissues (P= 0.05) and length of hospital stay (P = 0.02). No association was found with duration of surgery or ASA grade.CONCLUSIONS
A small-incision, meticulous haemostasis at surgery and a reduction in pre-operative obesity reduce the time taken for hip arthroplasty wounds to become dry. Prolonged wound oozing delays hospital discharge.