Skin closure following fractured neck of femur surgery: a survey of orthopaedic surgeons’ practices

Daniel S. Hill, Matthew Freudmann, Jamie C. Sergeant, Tim N. Board

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surgical intervention for patients presenting with a fractured neck of femur is common, however the best method of skin closure remains unclear. It has been suggested that the use of metallic skin clips in the closure of hip wounds may increase the rate of surgical site infections, however there are few high quality studies evaluating this.

We designed a survey to assess surgeons preferred skin closure method and their reasons for choosing it. This was sent to 545 consultant orthopaedic surgeons.

The positive response rate to our survey was 68% (n = 370). The survey showed that 44% of surgeons used metallic skin clips, and this was the most common method of closure reported. Hip surgeons were less likely to use metallic skin clips when compared to surgeons with other principal subspecialty practices. Surgeons using clips were most likely to state the rationale for use as convenience, whereas those using non-clip skin closure methods were more likely to cite reduced rates of wound inflammation, discharge, and infection as the rationale for use. Only a small proportion of surgeons indicate that their decisions were evidence based.

Skin closure following surgery for fractured neck of femur is not consistent amongst surgeons and is not driven by evidence. Greater levels of evidence in this field are required to improve outcomes in this patient group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-100
JournalHip international: the journal of clinical and experimental research on hip pathology and therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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