The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: ema_b85 on September 29, 2014, 10:58:21 PM

Title: Staples vs sutures
Post by: ema_b85 on September 29, 2014, 10:58:21 PM
I have recently had a Tto on my left knee and my surgeon has used staples to close the wound,
Has anyone else experienced staples on a knee wound, does it hurt when it comes to removing them?
Also which leaves a neater scar, staples or sutures?
Thanks emma
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: mjeffrey on October 01, 2014, 07:17:44 PM
Hi Emma

I had two recent operations one with staples, one with sutures this is what it was like in my case.

In my first operation I had a 20cm incision which was sealed by staples. I was also surprised to see staples but it seems to be common for larger incisions in orthopedics these days - apparently it is faster.

The original scar was a bit raised (for about 3 cm in lenght) due to the incision pulling apart a little and so in the second operation six months later I asked the OS to tidy up the scar a bit since he was using the same incision but shorter.
After the operation I was surprised to see he had used sutures. So maybe aesthetically sutures are considered better? Personally I think it looks the same. The original staple holes are no longer visible and I think the suture marks will go as well.

As for pain, it hurts about the same as having the stitches removed but it was faster. They have a special staple remover, one guy on the "bone breaks" forum even did it himself!
For me it was a short sharp pain (2-3) for less than a second for each one so not too bad in the scheme of things.

There are things you can do to improve the appearance of a scar. Silicone, in sheets or as a gel, has been shown to be effective ( and some people recommend Biooil (but I wasn't impressed with the quality of the Biooil studies).

Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: ema_b85 on October 01, 2014, 10:02:55 PM
Hi mark,
Thanks for you reply, I am so glad to here that staple removal is no worse than suture removal but as the day draws closer (06/10/14) I am getting abit nervous/worried incase I do find it painful.
My os seems to have done a good job at closing the wound together & looks like they have lined it up nicely but will only really know once staples are out.
I do find my staples quiet tender on the actual bend of the knee when bending/straightening, assume they are pulling slightly.
Thanks again for your reply
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: JOW_103 on October 02, 2014, 09:18:20 PM
I had two knee surgeries last year and both times I had staples.  My last operation I had 32 staples to close the wound after having a full knee replacement done.  Removing the staples isn't bad and both times was done by the visiting nurse right in my home.  They use a special tool which opens the end and releases the staple.  Sometimes you can't even feel the staple being removed, other times there is a bit of pain involved.  I don't think it's any worse than sutures but certainly isn't 100% pain free.
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: ema_b85 on October 03, 2014, 04:33:01 PM
Thanks JOW_103 for your reply
Fingers crossed it's not as painful as I'm thinking it will be.
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: LAS on October 04, 2014, 04:34:32 AM
I Emma:  My daughter-in-law had a similar surgery and she had about 20 sutures removed a couple of years ago. She was happy to get rid of them and she had very little pain.  Only pinching.   Today you can barely see the scar which she is thrilled about.   I have read some of your posts regarding your reconstructive surgery.  It seemed like you were not getting up that much because of the difficulty with the PT getting your quads into gear.  Since you restarted the contraceptive pill, my concern is that your not getting up enough.   I  do realize that your  taking a blood thinner and that you appropriately got advice from the hospital.  Even so you can have a blood clot up to 4-6 weeks after major surgery.  I experienced a surface blood clot 3 weeks after meniscus surgery.  It could of been worse if I didn't get more active during the recuperation period.   My advice is that you move around as much as you can within your limits.  Don't get discouraged with the physical therapy.   

Either way you look at it, better safe than sorry!   Good Luck with your recuperation.   LAS 

Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: ema_b85 on October 04, 2014, 12:49:55 PM
Hi las,
That's brilliant to hear at your daughter in law had simular amount of staples to me and had very little Pain with removal and that her scar in barely noticeable, hope mine ends up like that, are you aware of she used any product on it to help with scaring once healed?
Thank you so much for your advise regards moving around more, I had only been getting up to go to the bathroom, for showering and for answering the door, so maybe I do need to move about more but the trouble im facing is that my leg just hangs and will not bend or lift on its own, there is still quiet a fair amount of swelling behind the bend in my knee and the back of my shin so perhaps this is contributing to the problem.
Since reading your comment today I have made sure Iv got off the sofa and had a walk around ground floor of the house for a few minutes, struggle to be up for too long as it makes my hip on the leg I can weight bare on hurt.
I'm also trying to keep my elevated as much as possible to try and decrease the remaining swelling.
I'm trying to do my pt exercises as much as possible but it's hard and I am struggling, I can do the static quads exercise with no problems at all but I'm struggling with the flexation one in which they want me to sit on a chair and slide foot back to the chair but ATM I'm still a foots length away as I can feel a pulling over the front of my knee, I don't know wether this is inside my knee or wether this is the dressing/plaster that is over the wound.
Staples are to be removed in 2 days and dressing taken off so I should find out then.
I'm trying to do the exercises in blocks of 10 3xs a day buts it's still proving difficult and I'm unable to do the straight leg lifts, hoping this wil come with time.
Thanks again for your reply, emma 😃
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: LAS on October 04, 2014, 04:39:52 PM
Hi There:   I don't mean to scare you about the blood clots. The further out you get from your surgery date the less of a chance of a blood clot.  I think it has only been about 1 1/2 weeks.   Even just sitting in a chair with your leg propped is better than lying down.  Perhaps you could do some PT from a chair and do some icing.   Going into the bathroom and answering the door counts for getting up.  If you can do a little more without too much discomfort than that's even better.   I remember my daughter-in-law  had a  cast with crutches about a month or 6 weeks after the surgery and she was tired too from the crutches.  Some of the other posters who  have gone thru this advised you not to worry too much about lifting your leg, it will come in time as your quads get stronger.   I will check with my daughter-in-law to see if she used anything special for her incision and get back to you. 

Hang in there:   LAS 
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: ema_b85 on October 05, 2014, 09:49:47 PM
Thanks las  :)
Title: Re: Staples vs sutures
Post by: ema_b85 on October 06, 2014, 01:10:41 PM
Just a quick update incase anyone else has staples and is worried about staple removal.
Had staples removed this morning & it's no were near as bad as i thought it will be, you feel a pinch as they press the removers to open the staple, and occasionally one pulls because it has blood stuck to it but it's not really painful.
Wounds have been recovered with a dressing so my brace does not run on them but the wounds themselves look very neat.