Barbed Sutures in Total Knee Arthroplasty: Are These Safe, Efficacious, and Cost-Effective?

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The use of barbed sutures has become increasingly popular; however, their efficacy and safety continues to be debated. We review the records of 333 primary total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) to determine the difference in wound closure and total operative time between patients closed with a barbed versus standard sutures. We also evaluated complication rates and cost differences between the two groups. Overall, we saw no significant difference in either wound closure time (31 vs. 30 minutes) or total operative time (115 vs. 114 minutes). No significant differences were observed in the complication rate. Material costs were lower overall in the barbed suture group ($66.78 vs. 82.59). Further studies will be required to determine the role of barbed sutures in TKA.

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