Total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries are arguably the most successful procedure in recent times. However, personal hygiene remains a big issue, especially in the immediate post operative period. The patients are not allowed to take shower for almost three weeks, due to the fear of wound wetting and eventual surgical site infection. We wished to report that in our institution, for all post operative patients, we use sterile occlusive dressings followed by the use of cling films and allow patients to take shower.
Materials and methods: We studied 100 consecutive patients who underwent TKR surgeries at our hospital. All patients, after wound closure, received sterile occlusive dressings. Further, on post-operative day two, on removing the compression dressings, all operated knee joints were wrapped with cling film in order to allow patients to take proper shower. In this study group, we looked for the following outcomes; surgical site infections (SSI), number of change in dressing required before the completion of wound healing at 3 weeks post surgery. The overall patient satisfaction assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS;10 being happiest and 1 being most unhappy) at the end of two weeks.
Results: In our study, there were no incidences of SSI, no change in dressing requirement till two weeks post surgery. The mean VAS score at end of two weeks were 8 out 10 indicating that most of our patients were happy with this arrangement.
Conclusion: Use of cling film for allowing shower in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty is a good option to maintain overall personal hygiene and high patient satisfaction rate.