To evaluate the clinical use and economic aspects of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) after dorsal stabilisation of spinal fractures. This study is a prospective randomised evaluation of NPWT in patients with large surgical wounds after surgical stabilisation of spinal fractures by internal fixation. Patients were randomised to either standard wound dressing treatment (group A) or NPWT (group B). The wound area was examined by ultrasound to measure seroma volumes in both groups on the 5th and 10th day after surgery. Furthermore, data on economic aspects such as nursing time for wound care and material used for wound dressing were evaluated. A total of 20 patients (10 in each group) were enrolled. Throughout the whole study, mean seroma volume was significantly higher in group A than that in group B (day 5: 1·9 ml versus 0 ml; P = 0·0007; day 10: 1·6 ml versus 0·5 ml; P <0·024). Furthermore, patients of group A required more wound care time (group A: 31 ± 10 minutes; group B 13·8 ± 6 minutes; P = 0·0005) and more number of compresses (total number; group A 35 ± 15; group B 11 ± 3; P = 0·0376). NPWT reduced the development of postoperative seroma, reduced nursing time and reduced material required for wound care.