Total patellar skin loss from cryotherapy after total knee arthroplasty.

Journal of Arthroplasty

PubMedID: 22749659

Dundon JM, Rymer MC, Johnson RM. Total patellar skin loss from cryotherapy after total knee arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2013;28(2):376.e5-7.
The use of cryotherapy after total knee arthroplasty is a very common therapeutic adjunct accepted as routine postoperative care. We present 2 cases of total patellar skin loss due to cryotherapy after total knee arthroplasty. Substantial soft tissue defects were created after the initial debridement of the necrotic tissue. Both patients were evaluated for frostbite, and the wounds were sharply debrided. Application of an advanced wound management technique involves the use of a collagen-glycosaminoglycan biodegradable bilayer matrix, silver impregnated antimicrobial dressing, and low-pressure vacuum device, followed by delayed split thickness skin grafting and low-pressure vacuum device. We find that this technique provided durable soft tissue coverage for necrotic wounds of the knee that do not involve the joint capsule.