J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2004 Apr;39(2):186-191.

Is Suction Drainage Necessary after Total Knee Arthroplasty?

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Daedong Hospital, Busan, Korea. mhsong21@hanmail.net


To assess the effectiveness of suction drainage following total knee arthroplasty in terms of blood-saving and local complications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 67 patients who underwent primary total knee arthroplasty were evaluated. There were 35 drained and 32 undrained total knee arthroplasties. The total amount of blood loss and transfused were calculated in each patient. Any local or systemic complications were recorded. RESULTS: No significant difference was noted between drained and undrained total knee arthroplasties regarding; wound healing, recovery of knee motion, or associated local or systemic complications. However, blood loss (1078 cc versus 298 cc) and transfusion amounts (2.8 unit versus 0.6 unit) were significantly higher in the drained group than in the undrained group. CONCLUSION: Following primary total knee arthroplasty, a lack of drainage did not cause significant wound healing problems, but it reduced blood loss and transfusion requirements. Wound drainage following total knee arthroplasty has been a tradition, but this study shows no benefits from a postoperative drainage system in primary total knee arthroplasty.


Knee; Total knee arthroplasty; Suction drain
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