The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 24, Issue: 5, Page: 1221-1226

Using a non-invasive secure skin closure following total knee arthroplasty leads to fewer wound complications and no patient home care visits compared to surgical staples

Carli, Alberto V; Spiro, Sara; Barlow, Brian T; Haas, Steven B


Superficial wound complications occur in up to 10% of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures and have been associated with periprosthetic joint infection. The ideal material for TKA closure should offer: 1) fast intraoperative application, 2) minimal wound complications and 3) removable by patients without assistance. We evaluated a novel, non-invasive, removable skin closure system for TKA to determine its effect on wound complications.


We prospectively evaluated 221 consecutive TKA patients who received skin closure using a non-invasive zipper-like system (‘Zip’; Zip 16 Surgical Skin Closure System; Zipline Medical). All procedures were performed by a single surgeon using the mini-midvastus approach. Patients received two weeks of rivaroxaban postoperatively. Demographics, comorbidities, in-hospital complications and six-week wound evaluation were recorded. Data was compared to a cohort of 1001 patients from the same surgeon who received staples for closure and coumadin for thromboprophylaxis.


Zip patients had a significantly higher BMI (p = 0.001), incidence of diabetes (p = 0.035) and smoking (p = 0.005). Zip patients removed dressings themselves and did not report problems with dressing care. Rate of readmission for wound-related complications was significantly lower in the Zip closure group (p = 0.045). Overall readmission rates were similar between groups.


In our experience, the Zip 16 Surgical Skin Closure System is easy to apply, avoids home care and has produced fewer wound complications compared to staples. Results have been positive despite the study cohort having a higher number of diabetic patients and using an anticoagulant associated with a higher risk of wound complications.

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