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JRPMS Vol 4, No 2, June 2020, p.30-34

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-04-030


Original Article

Dressing change frequency following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a pilot study

Nikiforos Galanis1, Aikaterini Kyriakou1, Ioannis Delniotis2, James Inklebarger3, Pericles Papadopoulos1, Eleftherios Tsiridis1, Farres Sayegh1

  1. Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  2. Department of Orthopaedics, Volmarstein Wetter (Ruhr) Germany
  3. Healthshare Ltd, Central London, Kings Hill, West Malling Kent, UK

Keywords: ACL, Bandage, Infection, Removal, Surgical wound


Background: Data in the literature are limited concerning the impact of different time scheduling, in regards to dressing change frequency, on infectious complications at the surgical site attributable to the dressing procedure itself. Methods: A pilot, randomized trial was conducted to assess the safety of two different dressing removal protocols performed after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction for deficiency. Patients assigned to “standard” protocol underwent a dressing change on postoperative day 2, 4 and 6. Those assigned to the “revised” protocol underwent a change just on day 6. All patients’ surgical site skin was cultured at baseline and on postoperative day 6 immediately after dressing removal. Results: Forty patients were assigned to the “standard” protocol and forty to the “revised” one. The percentage of culture positive subjects was 2.5% (1/40) in the “standard” protocol group compared to 0% in the “revised” one. No significant differences were found in the number of positive culture subjects between methods. Conclusion: Changing dressing frequently doesn’t seem to provide any additional benefit to the patients, while retaining it doesn’t lead to any increased risk of infection. Moreover, the patient’s inconvenience and increased related cost caused by frequent dressing change suggest that the dressing should be retained for at least 6 days postoperatively. Level of evidence: 2b