The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, 1492 - 1497

Outcome of Direct Anterior Total Hip Arthroplasty Complicated by Superficial Wound Dehiscence Requiring Irrigation and Debridement

Joseph M. Statz, Nicholas C. Duethman, Robert T. Trousdale, Michael J. Taunton


Superficial wound dehiscence after total hip arthroplasty (THA) performed through the direct anterior approach (DAA) can be treated with superficial irrigation and debridement (I&D). The incidence and treatment of this complication has been described, but there are little data on the outcomes after a superficial I&D have not been described. The purpose of this paper was to examine the clinical outcomes of DAA THAs requiring postoperative superficial I&D.


A retrospective review of 1573 THAs performed using the DAA were identified utilizing a prospectively collected, single-institution joint registry. Of these 1573 cases, 18 THAs in 18 patients (1.1%) underwent a superficial I&D for superficial wound dehiscence. Outcomes studied included prosthetic joint infection (PJI) after superficial I&D, revisions, re-reoperations, complications, and clinical outcome scores.


Survivorship from superficial I&D at 1, 2, and 5 years postoperatively was 98.6% at all time points. In the 18 patients who underwent superficial I&D, this was performed an average of 37 (range 12-83) days after their THA. Female gender (hazard ratio 5.5, 95% confidence interval 1.20-32.34, P = .0271) was associated with a higher risk of undergoing superficial I&D as was body mass index >30 kg/m 2 ( P = .0028), >35 kg/m 2 ( P < .0001), and >40 kg/m 2 ( P = .0037). At average follow-up of 2.2 (range 0.2-5.5) years, 0 patients developed PJI. Complications included femoral revision for a painful fibrously ingrown femoral component (1), pulmonary embolus (1), and death from respiratory failure (1). Postoperative Harris Hip Scores averaged score was 86.8 (range 57-99).


Superficial wound dehiscence requiring superficial I&D after DAA THA occurs in about 1%-2% of patients with low risk of subsequent PJI.

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