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J Bone Jt Infect. 2018 May 28;3(2):104-107. doi: 10.7150/jbji.25610. eCollection 2018.

The use of Tranexamic Acid in Total Elbow Replacement to Reduce Post-Operative Wound Infection.

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North Cumbria University Hospital NHS Trust.


Background: Incidence of infection following total elbow replacement (TER) is recognised to be higher compared to hip or knee arthroplasty. Extensive swelling following TER can complicate the wound healing which might lead to infection. Tranexamic Acid (TXA) is proven to reduce blood loss peri-operatively which might contribute to better healing outcomes. Our aim is to assess the effect of TXA in wound healing following TER. Methods: A retrospective review of a single surgeon case series. 10 patients had TER mainly for complicated elbow fractures, four of them were relatively immune-supressed. All patients had 2 grams of TXA and antibiotics intra-operatively. All were reviewed at two weeks following surgery for wound check and removal of surgical clips. Results: Seven females and three males with a mean age of 81.5 had TER and TXA. The mean level of pre-operative haemoglobin was 134.40 g/l and the mean post-operative level was 122.70g/l. No patient in this series required blood transfusion. At two weeks and six weeks follow-up, all wound healed up with no signs of infection. Conclusion: TXA has been proven to be safe an effective way of reducing peri-operative bleeding. TXA maintains haemostasis after releasing the tourniquet and therefore reduces the swelling and wound complications post-operatively.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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