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Author Topic: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?  (Read 13165 times)

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Offline casey2291

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Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« on: April 09, 2005, 11:51:01 PM »
Hi everyone,

I had my knee scoped and am three weeks post-op.  I noticed about a week ago that at one of my incisons part of the internal stitches are sticking out.  I can see and feel two small pieces of the stitches in two different areas on the incision.  This incision is not healing quite as nicely as the other two incisions, however it does seem to appear to be attempting to close around these pieces of stitches that are sticking out.  I noticed today that around the one piece of stitch there is a small slightly red area.  There is also a bump surrounding one side of the incison that is sore to the touch which I don't have around the other two incisions.  This is my first surgery so I'm not sure what is normal and what is not normal.  I am wondering if the pieces of stitching that are sticking out will eventually dissolve on their own?  Will my incision close all the way around the pieces of stitches sticking out?  Can I just cut the small pieces of stitches that are sticking out off?  Thanks for any input.

Casey  :)
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05

Offline JenSinclair

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That sounds like it's getting infected to me (the bump and tenderness).  Go directly to your OS...Do not pass go; do not collect $200.

Let us know what's up.

Peace,
Jen
LR/TTT 3 August 2006, RK
LR/TTT 16 June 2005, LK
CPMs are evil.

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2005, 01:15:14 AM »
I've had my body 'spit' the stitches that are supposed to dissolve.  Sometimes they don't, and you can get a lot of localized irritation.  I agree it's always worth a call to the OS, but with a local, skin-based irritation I wouldn't go to the ER or anything.  Your body is just having a tough time breaking down the stitches, it sounds like, and the irritation is a sign of the inner struggle.  I had a similar situation--my body only pushed one set of stitches out through one of the incisions, even though I had the same sutures in the other two ports.  It was a mystery.  At about 6-7 weeks post op, I was taping my kneecap.  When I took it off, it pulled out the stitches with no pain whatsoever--they just came out.  No biggie.

Still, anything you are concerned about warrants a call to the OS or his/her assistant.  When I spoke to my doctor's fellow about this, he told me it was impossible that I was having this problem.  He said there was no way that my body would 'spit' the sutures, and that I must be feeling something else.  When he saw it, he ate his words.  It's unusual, but not unheard of, to have internal stitches poke back out of some incisions.  If the knee is hot, swollen, red, or inflamed, then it's time to get concerned.  But if you have a little big of highly localized redness/itching/scabbing then keep the area clean and try while you wait to see your OS.

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
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Offline AndrewC

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2005, 02:18:30 AM »
I agree with Heather....

I have had it before where my body has tried to rid itself of internal stitches....just keep the area clean and be patient while your body tries to rid itself of those nasty foreign objects  ::)

It is very likely your wound will heal fine and the stitches will either be absorbed or come up for air totally!

I certainly wouldnt brave the ER unless your wound is looking really infected (eg/ red, swollen, hot etc). Though you could visit your Dr or ring your OS? if your really worried

Good Luck

Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline ellies

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2005, 02:21:57 AM »
Hello,

I had a similar thing happen to me last year after an ACI & part of the internal stitch poked out.  I tried to pull it out myself as it was looking a bit red & swollen, but self preservation took over!  When I went to the physio she looked at it & called a nurse who pulled it out for me.  It did not hurt, but should be done to avoid any possibility of infection.  The inflammation immediatley calmed down & all was well.  So, I would sugget that you have it taken out pretty soon.
Good luck.
Ellen
1998 scope R knee
2002 scope R knee, bone graft R knee
2003 scope R knee
2003 scope L knee
2004 scope L knee
2004 ACI L knee
2004 2 x scopes L knee
2005 TKR L knee

Offline JenSinclair

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2005, 02:57:27 AM »
So, it seems my initial reply was an overreaction.  Good.  So...I have this possibility to look forward to, huh?  Sheesh!

Although, about 6 months after my husband had his wisdom teeth out, a chip of one worked its way out through the inside of his cheek.  I almost died of shock...and, you know...nausea.

Peace,
Jen
LR/TTT 3 August 2006, RK
LR/TTT 16 June 2005, LK
CPMs are evil.

Offline casey2291

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2005, 02:10:28 PM »
Thanks everyone!  Now I know that it is not that abnormal.  The redness is no way bad enough for a trip to the ER and at this point I don't think that it even warrants a call to the OS.  I will just keep and eye on it for now and as suggested keep it clean and dry.  If the redness gets worse I will call my OS.  Thanks so much for your input!!

Casey  :)
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05

Offline Patty0513

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2005, 03:57:02 PM »
Hi Casey,
   I had this problem with both TTTs.  My OS recommended applying heat several times a day to the problem areas.  As we all know, heat increases the blood flow and this helps the stitches dissolve.  Just mild heat for ~10 minutes several times a day (we don't want to make the knee swell any more than it may all ready be).  I just kept pulling on the stitches that were poking out and one day apparently the inner stitches had dissolved enough and the stitches easily pulled out.  Hope this helps.

Patty

Offline casey2291

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Re: Should I be able to see part of my internal stitches?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2005, 01:47:48 AM »
Hey guys,

 I saw my PT today and he told me to pull the stitches out with tweezers.  Well, apparently they are not ready to come out.  I was tugging hard and all I did was break the piece of stitch that was sticking out off.  Now, I'm not so sure what to do.   Should I just try to heat it and if the stitches need to resurface through my skin they will?  It looks red now, but I'm sure that is because I was just trying to pull the stitches out. 

Casey  :)
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05