Utility of Positive Suction Drain Tip Culture in Early Detection of Infection After Total Knee Replacement
Introduction: To compare the frequency of wound
infection in positive and negative drain tip culture in
patients after primary total knee replacement.
Methods: In this descriptive study patients
undergoing primary total knee replacement for
osteoarthritis were included. Early postoperative
wound infection was defined as patient developing
redness, pain, heat or swelling at surgical site; or
drainage of pus within 7 postoperative days. Positive
culture was considered as bacterial growth within 48
hours after suction drain tip was cultured on media.
Negative culture was defined as no bacterial growth
in 48 hours after placing the suction drain tip on
culture media. Closed suction drain tips were sent
for culture and sensitivity on 3rd postoperative day.
Patients were followed for 7 days for any signs of
infection. Effect modification was catered to by
stratification for malnutrition defined as serum
albumin less than 3.5g/dl; and obesity that was
considered when BMI was equal to or more than
Results: The mean age of patients was 57.28±7.37
years. Positive suction drain was found in 9.17% ,
while 6.67% had infection among all cases. Among 8
cases with infection there were 6(75%) who were
positive on suction drain tip and among 112 non-
infected cases there were 5(4.5%) who had positive
suction drain tip. There was significant association
between infection and suction drain tip positivity, p-
value being < 0.001.
Conclusion: Suction drain tip culture analysis can
predict infection after primary total knee
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