Study Design.A prospective randomized control study.Objective.The aim of this study was to compare the complication rate in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) posterior spinal fusion (PSF) surgery with and without drainage.Summary of Background Data.PSF is the mainstay of surgical treatment for AIS. Drains are commonly used despite contradictory findings in the literature for their having any clear advantage.Methods.A total of 100 AIS patients undergoing instrumented PSF were blindly randomized into two groups of either a deep drain or no drain. The collected data included wound follow-up findings, hemoglobin, hematocrit, vital signs and fever levels, and mean 20 months follow-up.Results.Fifty-Two patients were randomly allocated to the "no drain" group and 48 to the "drain" group. There were no differences in patient characteristics, surgical data, and hemoglobin and hematocrit levels between the two groups. Only 4 units of packed cells were given in total. Fever during the first postoperative 1 to 3 days was equal, but increased in the no drain group on day 6 (P=0.017). Length of hospitalization was equal (6 days) for all the patients. The mean follow-up period was 20 months [8.5-30.7 (SD 6.4)]. Complications included one case (1.9%) of pneumonia in the "no-drain" group, wound dehiscence in two cases (3.8%) in the "no-drain" group and in one case (2.1%) in the "drain" group, and two cases (3.8%) of superficial wound infection in the "no-drain" group. There was no case of deep infection in either group.Conclusion.The current results indicate that there is no advantage to deep drainage in AIS patients undergoing PSF. The number of wound healing complications was low and identical for both the drain and no-drain groups.Level of Evidence: 2.
- adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
- posterior fusion surgery
- subfascial suction drain