Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 131, Issue 4, pp 455–458 | Cite as

Unsuitability and high perforation rate of latex-free gloves in arthroplasty: a cause for concern

  • S. ThomasEmail author
  • E. Aldlyami
  • S. Gupta
  • M. R. Reed
  • S. D. Muller
  • P. F. Partington
Orthopaedic Surgery



Any increase in perforations in surgical gloves is a concern. We conducted a prospective study to find a clinically acceptable brand of latex-free gloves suitable for orthopaedic surgery.


Five different brands of gloves approved for use were selected. Two of the latex-free gloves were rejected as their clinical usability in arthroplasty was poor. The Cardinal Esteem latex-free glove has a smooth surface and was slippery, especially in total knee arthroplasty. The Biogel Skin Sense under glove was found to be unacceptably thick, affecting both surgical dexterity and tactility.


The three remaining gloves were Biogel latex (control), Synthesis Polyco (latex-free) and Cardinal Esteem SMT (latex-free). Gloves were then collected for testing from 241 arthroplasties. Gloves used for primary knee/hip replacements were tested using a validated water distension test. Latex-free gloves were found to have higher perforation rates compared to latex.


Our study demonstrates that currently available latex-free gloves have inferior clinical performance and are not recommended for use in arthroplasty surgery.


Latex gloves Latex-free gloves Glove perforation 


Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • E. Aldlyami
    • 1
  • S. Gupta
    • 1
  • M. R. Reed
    • 1
  • S. D. Muller
    • 1
  • P. F. Partington
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsWansbeck Hospital, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation TrustNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Newcastle upon TyneUK

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