Scientific Article   |    
Tape Blisters Following Hip Surgery A Prospective, Randomized Study of Two Types of Tape
Kenneth J. Koval, MD; Kenneth A. Egol, MD; Daniel B. Polatsch, MD; Michael A. Baskies, MD; Jan Peter Homman, MD; Rudi N. Hiebert, BS
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Investigation performed at The Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Jamaica, New York

Kenneth J. Koval, MD
Kenneth A. Egol, MD
Daniel B. Polatsch, MD
Michael A. Baskies, MD
Jan Peter Homman, MD
Rudi N. Hiebert, BS
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003. E-mail address for K.J. Koval: kjkmd@yahoo.com

The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.

A commentary is available with the electronic versions of this article, on our web site (www.jbjs.org) and on our quarterly CD-ROM (call our subscription department, at 781-449-9780, to order the CD-ROM).

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2003 Oct 01;85(10):1884-1887
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Background: Tape blisters after hip surgery can be a source of postoperative morbidity and can increase patient discomfort. The purpose of this prospective study was to compare two different types of tape to determine whether the type of tape influences the rate of blister formation.

Methods: Ninety-nine patients (100 hips) were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomized into one of two treatment groups: one treated with a nonstretchable silk tape and one treated with a perforated, stretchable cloth tape. After surgery, the assigned tape was applied over the postoperative dressing with care not to produce skin tension. At the first dressing change, the presence or absence of blisters was recorded as were the number, size, location, and type of any blisters. The presence or absence of tape blisters was recorded at the time of each subsequent dressing change.

Results: A tape blister developed on twenty-five hips in twenty-five patients. The risk of a blister developing was 41% (twenty of forty-nine patients) when the nonstretchable silk tape was used and 10% (five of fifty patients) when the perforated cloth tape was used (relative risk = 4.08, 95% confidence interval = 1.53 to 10.87, p = 0.005). We found no association between formation of tape blisters and the age or gender of the patient, number of medical comorbidities, smoking history, results of nutritional assessment, or type of surgery.

Conclusions: The prevalence of tape blisters was significantly lower when perforated cloth tape was used than it was when nonstretchable silk tape was used.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study, Level I-1a (randomized controlled trial [significant difference]). See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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