Which Stitch? Replacing Anecdote with Evidence in Minor Hand Surgery

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Summary:There is currently no consensus on the optimal suture type for palmar skin closure following open carpal tunnel release and trigger finger release. We performed a retrospective analysis of patients in the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs (PAVA) Health Care System who underwent these procedures over a 2-year period to compare 30-day wound outcomes following closure with poliglecaprone 25 (Monocryl), nylon, and chromic gut suture. Out of 312 PAVA cases (133 carpal tunnel release, 179 trigger finger release), incisions closed with Monocryl were significantly less likely to develop dehiscence (Monocryl 2.1%, nylon 10.5%, chromic 10.3%; P = 0.006) and infection (Monocryl 1.6%, nylon 7.4%, chromic 13.8%; P = 0.003), or lead to additional wound-related encounters (Monocryl 8.0%, nylon 16.8%, chromic 24.1%; P = 0.012). On multivariable logistic regression, suture type and diabetes were independent predictors of 30-day wound complications and extra encounters. At PAVA, compared with Monocryl, closures with nylon and chromic were significantly more likely to dehisce and/or become infected [nylon: odds ratio (OR), 5.0; 95% CI, 1.9–13.3 and chromic: OR, 9.3; 95% CI, 2.7–32.4; P = 0.002], and to be associated with an additional encounter (nylon: OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1–5.3 and chromic: OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.6–12.9; P = 0.007). This has led to using Monocryl as the standard closure for these cases at PAVA.

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