Evaluation of three methods of suture for skin closure in total knee arthroplasty: a randomized trial

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2021 Aug 30;22(1):747. doi: 10.1186/s12891-021-04627-5.


Background: There are several studies comparing techniques and different materials, yet the results are not unanimous. We compared three methods of skin closure in total knee arthroplasty (TKA), including suture with single stitches and unabsorbable MonoNylon®, as well as continuous subcuticular suture with Monocryl® or barbed Stratafix® absorbable suture.

Methods: A prospective, randomized study was conducted with 63 patients undergoing TKA between March 2016 and December 2016. Patients were divided into three groups: traditional suture MonoNylon® (n 22), subcuticular continuous suture with Monocryl® (n 20), and another barbed with Stratafix® (n 21). The closure time, length of wire used, pain intensity, possible complications, and cosmeses were evaluated.

Results: Subcuticular continuous suture using Monocryl® was superior to traditional suture using MonoNylon® as less thread was used (p 0.01) and a better cosmetic effect was achieved (p < 0.01), which was equal to Stratafix® aspects analyzed (p > 0.05). Complications were observed mostly in patients who used Stratafix®.

Conclusions: This study concluded that the subcuticular suture with absorbable monofilament Monocryl® proved to be advantageous compared to the others because it presented results equal to the barbed Stratafix®, however with fewer complications. Furthermore, Monocryl® was shown to be equal or superior to traditional MonoNylon® suture regarding in relation pain intensity, aesthetic result, and effective cost.

Trial registration: WHO ICTRP identifier RBR78dh5d. Retrospectively registered: 07/29/2020.

Keywords: Skin closure; Suture; Total knee arthroplasty.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin
  • Suture Techniques
  • Sutures