Objective: To assess the frequency of urine retention and of urinary tract infection after total hip replacement in order to: to minimize morbidity due to urine retention and urinary tract infection after total hip replacement; to limit the discomfort to the patient; to decrease the work load of the nursing staff, if possible.
Setting: University Hospital Rotterdam.
Design: Prospective, randomized.
Patients and methods: In 61 patients after 63 total hip replacements the use of an indwelling catheter for 48 hours (group 1) was compared with catheterisation on indication only (group 2).
Results: Urine retention was less in group 1 than in group 2, 12/39 (31%) versus 15/24 (63%). In the subgroup males no difference was found between both groups. Urine retention was more frequent in elderly people. No other risk factors could be demonstrated. The number of patients with bacteriuria greater than 10(5) CFU/ml in group 1, 11/39 (28%) did not differ from group 2, 9/24 (38%).
Conclusions: On the basis of these study results we recommend: In females: to use an indwelling catheter for 48 hours after total hip replacement; In males: to discuss this choice with the patient, because use of an indwelling catheter appears not to decrease the frequency of urine retention. The risk of discomfort caused by catheterisation and urine retention still exists. An indwelling catheter can, without increasing the risk of significant bacteriuria, eliminate this discomfort in the first 48 hours after operation.