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Stitches safer than staples after orthopedic surgery

PARIS -- Metal staples used to close wounds after joint surgery may be faster to use than stitches but are also more likely to cause infection, a review published online on Wednesday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said.

Doctors at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in eastern England looked at the outcome of six trials in which either nylon stitches or staples were used to seal 683 wounds.

Staples were three times more likely to lead to infection in a superficial wound, and four times likelier after hip surgery.

There was no significant difference between either technique when it came to the risk of inflammation, discharge or allergic reaction.

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