Introduction: Wound ooze is common following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and persistent wound infection is a risk factor for infection, and increased length and cost of hospitalisation.
Patients and methods: We undertook a prospective study to assess the effect of tourniquet time, peri-articular local anaesthesia and surgical approach on wound oozing after TKA.
Results: The medial parapatellar approach was used in 59 patients (77%) and subvastus in 18 patients (23%). Peri-articular local anaesthesia (0.25% Bupivacaine with 1:1,000,000 adrenalin) was used in 34 patients (44%). The mean tourniquet time was 83 min (range, 38-125 min). We found a significant association between cessation of oozing and peri-articular local anaesthesia (P = 0.003), length of the tourniquet time (P = 0.03) and the subvastus approach (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Peri-articular local anaesthesia, the subvastus approach and shorter tourniquet time were all associated with less wound oozing after total knee arthroplasty.