Persistent Wound Drainage After Tumor Resection and Endoprosthetic Reconstruction of the Proximal Femur

Werner H. Hettwer, Peter F. Horstmann, Tomas A. Grum-Schwensen, Michael M. Petersen*
Musculoskeletal Tumor Section, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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© Hettwer et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery U-2161, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark; Tel: +45 35458900; Fax: +45 35452211; E-mail:



To examine the prevalence of prolonged wound drainage (PWD) after tumor resection and endoprosthetic reconstruction of the hip.


Retrospective review of 86 consecutive patients with metastatic bone disease, malignant hematologic bone disease or bone sarcoma, treated with tumor resection and subsequent endoprosthetic reconstruction of the proximal femur, between 2010 and 2012, in a single center.


PWD for 7 days or more was observed in 41 cases (48%). The wounds only ceased oozing after a mean of 8.4 days, leading to prolonged administration of prophylactic antibiotics (mean 8.7 days) and length of hospital stay (mean 10.2 days). Total femur replacement, bone sarcoma and additional pelvic reconstruction were identified as significant independent risk factors for an even longer duration of PWD.


Compared to conventional hip arthroplasty, PWD appears to be significantly more prevalent in patients undergoing tumor arthroplasty procedures of the hip. Given the potentially increased risk for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), increased awareness, identification and implementation of adequate strategies for prevention and treatment of this avoidable complication are warranted.

Keywords: Bone metastases, bone tumor resection, endoprosthesis, hip replacement, wound ooze, wound drainage.