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Stitches?

Old 01-09-07, 01:25 PM
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Rugen
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Stitches?

I cut my finger something fierce two weeks ago. Bandaged it up, it appeared to heal, but every time I removed the bandage, it resplit, especially in my favorite posture on my bike. The last couple days I've been keeping it bandaged and it appears to be healing okay now.

But being that cycling breeds scars, it made me ponder a question...
anybody have any tips for identifying when stitches might be a good idea for lacerations? Depth? Blood viscousity? Heal rate?

I'm not the type of person to show up in the ER for a paper cut, but at the same time, I'd like to know when something is out of my league to handle.

Anybody guess wrong and figure out the hard way they should've gotten stitches (gory details)?
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Old 01-09-07, 01:38 PM
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-difficult-to-heal places, like fingers, face, over joints are good candidates.
-any time that a cut is gaping open - that is, that the flesh and skin is actually pulling the cut open - is a good candidate for stitching (or maybe steri-strips). especially if you can see muscle or fat.
-if it won't stop bleeding. that one should go without saying.

quite frankly, if you've got health insurance, there's no reason not to go to an ER except for time and inconvenience. deep cuts can harbor infections, and they really, really suck. same goes for punctures.
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Old 01-09-07, 01:39 PM
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I'm pretty sure that if you need stitches, you need to go get them within 24 hours or so of the injury. I could be way wrong on this, but I think I reember hearing this in 8th grade when I tried to butterfly bandage my knee. Now I have these really weird purple bubbles. Yum.
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Old 01-09-07, 01:41 PM
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I go for the stitches anytime that super glue and electrical tape won't keep the wound closed, or if I start to see more of the inside of me than I feel comfortable looking at
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Old 01-09-07, 01:41 PM
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chicks dig purple bubbles...
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Old 01-09-07, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk
-difficult-to-heal places, like fingers, face, over joints are good candidates.
-any time that a cut is gaping open - that is, that the flesh and skin is actually pulling the cut open - is a good candidate for stitching (or maybe steri-strips). especially if you can see muscle or fat.
-if it won't stop bleeding. that one should go without saying.

quite frankly, if you've got health insurance, there's no reason not to go to an ER except for time and inconvenience. deep cuts can harbor infections, and they really, really suck. same goes for punctures.
Yeah, I don't mess around with the punctures. A rusty nail in the foot will cure you of that real quick. But with splits and slices I've always been reluctant to drop $100 on an ER visit (even with my insurance) for something I can treat for $1.00 with alcohol and bandages. The miserly part of me is always trying to balance being stupidly economical with being overly careful.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:00 PM
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Steri-stips are the best poor man stitches out there. I have used them quite a few times when I should have probably gotten stitches before I had insurance.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:04 PM
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steri-strips need to be applied by somebody who knows what they're doing. a cut has to be clean. honestly, closing a wound over an infection is a really bad idea.

if you've got a gross wound and have health insurance, go to an ER. if you have a gross wound and no health insurance, go to a local clinic. lots of big cities have them. to make a topical pun, a stitch in time saves you a really expensive round of antibiotics for a really gross infection.

ryand was right about 24hours.

oh, rugen, here's a story: three or so years ago i got a puncture wound in the bottom of each foot by doing something i shouldn't have been doing. both were punctured through all my flesh, to the footbones. the ER doc had to clean them out with qtip and forceps penetrating my feet. i had to go on a full round of Cipro which made me feel like ****, cause if they were infected, the infection would spread to my bones, and i would have had to get my feet amputated.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ryand
I'm pretty sure that if you need stitches, you need to go get them within 24 hours or so of the injury. I could be way wrong on this, but I think I reember hearing this in 8th grade when I tried to butterfly bandage my knee. Now I have these really weird purple bubbles. Yum.
This thread is worthless without pics.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:13 PM
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better?
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Old 01-09-07, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by veggiemafia
s thread is worthless without pics.
Originally Posted by ryand

better?
happy now? My left ankle 2 weeks post op, after bandages and before cast.

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Old 01-09-07, 02:37 PM
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Its far too late for stitches. My understandng is that they need to be done within 12 hours of the injury. Correct me if I'm wrong.

My story:
I cut my middle fingertip late one night on some broken glass. It was a V-shaped cut that went into the nail. Ideally I should have gone in, but I didn't. After it happened, I soaked my finger in alchohol, pieced all the flaps together with superglue, slathered on Neosporin, and wrapped it up with bandages. I made a splint so I could not move my finger and tear it open again. I cleaned the wound everyday and kept the splint on for at least two weeks. It took about four weeks to fully heal.

I really should have gone in because after it healed, I realized there was still a shard of glass stuck inside my finger. Not a problem, over the course of a few days I was able to cut it out with a razor blade.

Now all is well except for a lumpy fingertip, a funny looking scar, and nerve damage.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
happy now? My left ankle 2 weeks post op, after bandages and before cast.
WOW! Both sides! What did you do? I hope that was after you had insurance.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
happy now? My left ankle 2 weeks post op, after bandages and before cast.
I posted the emoticon as an image because I didn't have any photos of my purple bubble.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk
steri-strips need to be applied by somebody who knows what they're doing. a cut has to be clean. honestly, closing a wound over an infection is a really bad idea.

iryand was right about 24hours.

oh, rugen, here's a story: three or so years ago i got a puncture wound in the bottom of each foot by doing something i shouldn't have been doing. both were punctured through all my flesh, to the footbones. the ER doc had to clean them out with qtip and forceps penetrating my feet. i had to go on a full round of Cipro which made me feel like ****, cause if they were infected, the infection would spread to my bones, and i would have had to get my feet amputated.
Ouch. Wasn't Cipro what they were going to use for the Avian Flu? Hardcore.

Reminds me of the time I got a tetanus shot... where my fingernail used to be.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
happy now? My left ankle 2 weeks post op, after bandages and before cast.
I guess the lesson here, boys and girls, is be kind to your ankles (and your knees).
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Old 01-09-07, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rugen
Ouch. Wasn't Cipro what they were going to use for the Avian Flu?
anthrax.

it made my body feel TERRIBLE.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rugen
Ouch. Wasn't Cipro what they were going to use for the Avian Flu? Hardcore.

Reminds me of the time I got a tetanus shot... where my fingernail used to be.
I think Cipro is among the most powerful of antibiotics. During the anthrax scare of '01 the goverment was stocking up on Cipro supplies.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:58 PM
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I cut my lip in two once all I did was tape it up it healed fine
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Old 01-09-07, 03:01 PM
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Just a note to anyone insisting on using superglue as a liquid suture: Stop it. For the sake of staving off infections, just stop it.

Yes, Dermabond (tm) and other liquid sutures use cyanoacrylates just like superglue. When used in a sterile setting after a thorough cleansing of the wound, c-a bonding agents work as a microbial barrier, keeping infections out. If you glue a wound shut and there's anaerobic or facultative bacteria in there, you've just created the perfect environment for them to grow, and you've sealed them in... assuring you won't wash the infection away no matter how much you wash the suture site.
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Old 01-09-07, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jjvw
WOW! Both sides! What did you do? I hope that was after you had insurance.
yeah after insurance. I ****ed it up snowboarding when I didn't have insurance. I thought it was a bad sprain at first because I had sprained that same ankle about a billion times. When the swelling went down, I had a big lump where my ankle *used* to be. I didn't really hurt too bad so I kept walking on it for ~4 years. Finally I got it checked out because it really started to hurt. The acute pain that I started having was because I had torn several liagaments and broke the tip of my fibia. From this injury my talus was not secure between the tibia and fibula and was wearing away the inner portion of my tibia as it rotated outward when I walked. Basically the pain that I started was feeling was bone on bone rubbing. Had to have an Tibial Osteotomy which was about 1 inch in size so that they could put in a plate and 6 screws and then wrap that whole mess in cadaver hamstring.
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Old 01-09-07, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk
anthrax.

it made my body feel TERRIBLE.
Poor little anthraxes.
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Old 01-09-07, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
wrap that whole mess in cadaver hamstring.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-09-07, 03:58 PM
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stitches are for *****es!!!



kidding...
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Old 01-09-07, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
...and then wrap that whole mess in cadaver hamstring.
Hmmmm, Hammmm....

Great! Now I'm all paranoid about my ankle sprain from a year ago. Is it a bad thing if the ankle is still slightly swollen twelve months after the accident? (Yeah, I thought so.)

I cut my palm a couple of years ago while cooking. It was about 3/16" deep and 1/2" long. I just kept it clean and slapped on the liquid skin stuff, which pooled up in the wound and probably prevented the flesh from sealing up properly. Now if I press on the scar, I feel some sensitivity. I probably should have had it stitched up properly.
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