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Postoperative Drains at the Donor Sites of Iliac-Crest Bone Grafts. A Prospective, Randomized Study of Morbidity at the Donor Site in Patients Who Had a Traumatic Injury of the Spine*
RICK C. SASSO, M.D.†; JOHN I. WILLIAMS, M.D.†; NANCY DIMASI, R.N.‡; PAUL R. MEYER, JR., M.D.‡, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
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Investigation performed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1998 May 01;80(5):631-5
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Abstract

A prospective, randomized study was performed to assess the effectiveness of postoperative closed suction drainage. One hundred and twelve consecutive procedures involving autologous iliac-crest bone graft were performed, from December 29, 1992, to July 1, 1993, following a traumatic injury of the spine in 108 patients. Sixty of the sites from which the bone graft had been obtained were drained with a single large Hemovac device. The drains were maintained for two to five days postoperatively. The remaining fifty-two incisions were closed without a drainage device. All patients were evaluated clinically for problems with wound-healing. The incisions were considered to be healed when they had been asymptomatic for one year. Of eleven patients who had problems with wound-healing, six had been managed with a drain and five had not. The findings of this study do not support the routine use of drainage at the donor sites of iliac-crest bone grafts.

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    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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