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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2006 Jan;88(1):18-22.

A prospective, randomised, controlled trial comparing wound dressings used in hip and knee surgery: Aquacel and Tegaderm versus Cutiplast.

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  • 1The Royal Oldham Hospital, North Pennine Acute NHS Trust, Rochdale Road, Oldham OL1 2JH, UK.



Cutiplast (absorbent perforated dressing with adhesive border; Smith & Nephew) is commonly used following orthopaedic operation, but complications of its use have been reported. A prospective, randomised, controlled study was performed to compare the efficacy of Cutiplast versus an Aquacel (hydrofibre dressing; ConvaTec) covered with Tegaderm (vapour-permeable dressing; 3M).


Two-hundred patients were randomised to receive one of the two dressings following elective and non-elective surgery of the hip and the knee. We were able to study 183 patients. The condition of the wound and any complications such as skin blistering or signs of infection was noted as was the frequency of dressing changes.


The Aquacel and Tegaderm dressing was 5.8 times more likely to result in a wound with no complications as compared to a Cutiplast dressing (odds ratio, 5.8; 95% CI 2.8-12.5; P < 0.00001).


Aquacel covered by Tegaderm is a superior dressing to Cutiplast following surgery to the hip and knee.

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