Wound complication including superficial infection is a concern after total knee arthroplasties (TKA) in diabetics. However, influence of glycoregulation before TKA has not been investigated in relationship to wound healing. Our hypothesis was that glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C), since it reflects long-term regulation of blood glucose, might be associated with incidence of wound complications after TKA in diabetic patients.
We retrospectively reviewed 167 TKAs performed in 115 patients with diabetes mellitus between January 2001 and March 2007. All patients were diagnosed as type II DM and osteoarthritis. A wound complication was defined as a hematoma, bulla, drainage or superficial infection. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression was used to identify which variables had a significant effect on the risk of wound complications. Variables considered were age, gender, body mass index, histories of previous knee surgery, comorbidities, duration of diabetes, the methods of diabetes treatment, complications of diabetes, preoperative HbA1c level, operation time, antibiotics-impregnated cement use, the amount of blood transfusion, and postoperative blood glucose level.
The overall incidence of wound complications was 6.6% (n=11) including superficial infection in 1.8% (n=3), hematoma or bullae in 3.6% (n=6), and drainage in 1.8% (n=3). There were seven cases (4.2%) of deep infection. A multivariate logistic regression revealed that independent risk factors for the development of wound complications were preoperative HbA1C ≥ 8% (odds ratio 6.074, 95% confidence interval 1.119–32.971) and operation time (odds ratio 1.013, 95% confidence interval 1.000–1.026).
Poorly controlled hyperglycemia before surgery may increase the incidence of wound complications among diabetic patients receiving total knee arthroplasties. The correlation of glycemic control and wound complications may assist in the preoperative evaluation and selection of time for surgery.
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