Negative pressure wound therapy reduces incidence of postoperative wound infection and dehiscence after long-segment thoracolumbar spinal fusion: a single institutional experience.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Wound dehiscence and surgical site infections (SSIs) can have a profound impact on patients as they often require hospital readmission, additional surgical interventions, lengthy intravenous antibiotic administration, and delayed rehabilitation. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) exposes the wound site to negative pressure, resulting in the improvement of blood supply, removal of excess fluid, and stimulation of cellular proliferation of granulation tissue. PURPOSE: To assess the incidence of wound infection and dehiscence in patients undergoing long-segment thoracolumbar fusion before and after the routine use of NPWT. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study. PATIENT SAMPLE: One hundred sixty patients undergoing long-segment thoracolumbar spine fusions were included in this study. OUTCOME MEASURES: Postoperative incidence of wound infection and dehiscence. METHODS: All adult patients undergoing thoracolumbar fusion for spinal deformity over a 6-year period at Duke University Medical Center by the senior author (CB) were included in this study. In 2012, a categorical change was made by the senior author (CB) that included the postoperative routine use of incisional NPWT devices after primary wound closure in all long-segment spine fusions. Before 2012, NPWT was not used. After primary wound closure, a negative pressure device is contoured to the size of the incision and placed over the incision site for 3 postoperative days. We retrospectively review the first 46 cases in which NPWT was used and compared them with the immediately preceding 114 cases to assess the incidence of wound infection and dehiscence. RESULTS: One hundred sixty (NPWT: 46 cases, non-NPWT: 114 cases) long-segment thoracolumbar spine fusions were performed for deformity correction. Baseline characteristics were similar between both cohorts. Compared with the non-NPWT cohort, a 50% decrease in the incidence of wound dehiscence was observed in the NPWT patient cohort (6.38% vs. 12.28%, p=.02). Similarly, compared with the non-NPWT cohort, the incidence of postoperative SSIs was significantly decreased in the NPWT cohort (10.63% vs. 14.91%, p=.04). CONCLUSIONS: Routine use of incisional NPWT was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of postoperative wound infection and dehiscence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Adogwa, O; Fatemi, P; Perez, E; Moreno, J; Gazcon, GC; Gokaslan, ZL; Cheng, J; Gottfried, O; Bagley, CA

Published Date

  • December 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2911 - 2917

PubMed ID

  • 24769401

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-1632

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.spinee.2014.04.011


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States