This study aims to investigate the effect of Hemovac drainage placed in graft harvesting area on preventing deep surgical site infection (SSI) and/or septic arthritis through draining the hematoma formed in the graft area in arthroscopic primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery using hamstring autograft.
This retrospective study was conducted between January 2008 and March 2019. A total of 819 patients (769 males, 50 females; mean age 33.7 years; range, 25 to 41 years) who underwent arthroscopic primary ACL reconstruction surgery using hamstring autograft were divided into two groups based on whether a Hemovac drain was also placed at the hamstring graft harvested area. Both groups were compared in terms of the presence of deep SSI and/or development of septic arthritis.
In the non-drained group (group 1, n=401), 16 patients (3.9%) had septic arthritis, four (0.9%) had deep SSI, and two (0.49%) had both wound and joint infections. Septic arthritis was identified in only one patient (0.2%) in the drained group (group 2, n=418). In group 2, the mean amount of blood coming from the drain at the graft harvesting region was 36.85 mL (range, 20-50 mL).
In arthroscopic primary ACL reconstruction surgery using hamstring tendon autograft, we concluded that the use of a Hemovac drain could be effective in preventing deep SSI through reducing the hematoma occurring in this region. However, future studies are needed to validate the effect of Hemovac drain on preventing the septic arthritis.