The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 27, Issue 3, 362 - 367

15-Year Experience With Soft Tissue Expansion in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Long, William J. et al.

Preoperative identification of a knee at risk for wound healing after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) allows the surgeon to apply a soft tissue expansion technique to expand the available tissue for closure and healing after TKA. A consecutive series of 64 soft tissue expansions were performed for 59 cases of conflicting incisions and 5 cases of severe angular deformity, with a mean of 3.5 previous surgeries. An average 2.1 expanders were used for a total volume of 359 mL. Expansion took a mean of 70 days during which 14 minor and 7 major complications occurred. There were 8 post-TKA complications, 5 of which required a return to the operating room. Soft tissue expansion is a safe, prophylactic technique that provides adequate coverage in this complex subset of patients.

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