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Thread: Fishing line coming out of spine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    78

    Fishing line coming out of spine

    My daughter had spinal fusion 3 weeks ago today & her steri strips just started to fall off. I was looking at her incision & discovered a 2 inch piece of what looks like fishing line, jutting out of a pimple, next to her incision. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?
    Martha
    Mother of Laura, Age 19
    Diagnosed with S curve at Age 13 (49*T/32*L)
    Wore brace for one year (Wilmington Jacket)
    Posterior spinal fusion on April 17, '08 with Dr. Flynn at CHOP (Age 16)
    Fused T2-L2
    Pre-op curves: 41*UT/66*T/34*L
    Post-op curves: 14*UT/19*T/19*L
    Note: At 1 yr. post-op appt, UNFUSED lumbar curve improved to 14*!!
    OK to email me at: malka22@comcast.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas/ Overland Park, KS
    Posts
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    It might be one of the dissolvable stitches that the surgeon used internally to hold layers deeper down together, and it is sticking out... maybe call the dr office about it? If it is a dissolvable stitch it might just.. dissolve... and not be a problem but i don't know
    aBbiE
    22 yr old F,KU college student
    Kyphoscoliosis...
    Scoliosis (25T, 23L) diagnosed @ 14 yrs old; curves June 08 were 45T, 32L with 18 degree rotation
    Kyphosis of 65 degrees...
    I am missing a lumbar vertebrae

    Surgery 6/30/2008 with Dr. Lawrence Lenke
    Fused T2-L2


    before/after pics
    all smiles!

  3. #3
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    Hi...

    I'm almost certain it's a stitch. It's very common.

    Regards,
    Linda

  4. #4
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by malka22
    My daughter had spinal fusion 3 weeks ago today & her steri strips just started to fall off. I was looking at her incision & discovered a 2 inch piece of what looks like fishing line, jutting out of a pimple, next to her incision. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?
    Hello there,

    My daughter had exactly the same thing with the fishing line at the top and bottom of the incision once the steri strips feel off. I was told to cut the "fishing line" close to the skin and the desolvable stitches would continue to absorb.

    Please confirm with the doctor's office what they would like you to do, but don't worry about it.

    Best wishes to your daughter for a speedy recovery, hang in there!
    Last edited by ca-native; 05-08-2008 at 11:22 PM.
    ca-native (daughter had surgery)

  5. #5
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    I agree with the others about it being dissolvable stitching. I had some on my face for a mole removal and some of it ended up coming out rather than dissolving.

    My daughter has a better plastic surgery closure on her back than I do for that mole removal on my face.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by malka22
    My daughter had spinal fusion 3 weeks ago today & her steri strips just started to fall off. I was looking at her incision & discovered a 2 inch piece of what looks like fishing line, jutting out of a pimple, next to her incision. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?
    Malka, it's a dissolvable stitch trying to spit out.

    My body (sad I know this after so many ortho trauma surgeries ;-) won't dissolve any type of monocryl stitches (including PDS - the blue ones), and I did tell my surgeon about this beforehand. I had one long regular stitch down my 17" incision ... and thought I was good until about 9 weeks post-op when a blue end spit out around the top of my incision.

    Someone evidently thought I'd dissolve a *different* type of dissolvable and used PDS when they stitched me up ...

    Since then, I've spit 2 more, and have one working its way out. It's more of a pain in the a** than anything.

    Once the stitch is sticking out, just take a pair of sterilized tweezers and sterilized scissors: Use the tweezers to gently pull on the stitch while pushing down the skin (this will drop it back under the skin line) and simply snip it off.

    It may work out again, it may not.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Last edited by txmarinemom; 05-09-2008 at 07:52 AM.
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  7. #7
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    I agree with everyone else. This is internal sutures working their way out of the body because they didn't dissolve under the skin. The body is amazing how it "fixes" things. Braydon always has internal sutures, and always has "fish line" at the ends of the incisions working their way out.

    Don't worry about pulling the steri-strips off. They will fall off in their own time. Pulling them off can hurt, and that's not necessary unless they are really bothering her. Good luck and hope she's doing well.
    Carmell
    mom to Kara, idiopathic scoliosis, Blake 19, GERD and Braydon 14, VACTERL, GERD, DGE, VEPTR #137, thoracic insufficiency, rib anomalies, congenital scoliosis, missing coccyx, fatty filum/TC, anal stenosis, horseshoe kidney, dbl ureter in left kidney, ureterocele, kidney reflux, neurogenic bladder, bilateral hip dysplasia, right leg/foot dyplasia, tibial torsion, clubfoot with 8 toes, pes cavus, single umblilical artery, etc. http://carmellb-ivil.tripod.com/myfamily/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Thank you to everyone who responded to my fishing line question. I really appreciate all of your replies. The strangest thing, though, is that it's NOT coming out of the incision. It's poking through it's own spot...off to the side of the incision. Has anyone ever seen that?

    Btw, I emailed the surgeon's PA & here's what he wrote back, "No need for concern. This is a bit of the suture material. It will dissolve from the inside, so it will fall off on its own. If it is annoying or concerning for you or Laura, you may cut the material back closer to the skin's surface with scissors or a nail
    clipper. Though I'm happy to have you come in to see me anytime, it doesn't sound like this finding alone would warrant the hassle of coming in."
    Martha
    Mother of Laura, Age 19
    Diagnosed with S curve at Age 13 (49*T/32*L)
    Wore brace for one year (Wilmington Jacket)
    Posterior spinal fusion on April 17, '08 with Dr. Flynn at CHOP (Age 16)
    Fused T2-L2
    Pre-op curves: 41*UT/66*T/34*L
    Post-op curves: 14*UT/19*T/19*L
    Note: At 1 yr. post-op appt, UNFUSED lumbar curve improved to 14*!!
    OK to email me at: malka22@comcast.net

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Utah
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    Yes, what you describe is exactly what happens to Braydon. That spot (not in the incision) is where they start the "running suture" below the skin. Then they suture up the various layers of muscle/soft tissue and finally close the surface skin (again, usually under the skin). It is exactly what the doc explained. It will dissolve from the inside, and then fall off. The only reason to worry is if it gets infected - red/soreness/puss, etc.
    Carmell
    mom to Kara, idiopathic scoliosis, Blake 19, GERD and Braydon 14, VACTERL, GERD, DGE, VEPTR #137, thoracic insufficiency, rib anomalies, congenital scoliosis, missing coccyx, fatty filum/TC, anal stenosis, horseshoe kidney, dbl ureter in left kidney, ureterocele, kidney reflux, neurogenic bladder, bilateral hip dysplasia, right leg/foot dyplasia, tibial torsion, clubfoot with 8 toes, pes cavus, single umblilical artery, etc. http://carmellb-ivil.tripod.com/myfamily/

  10. #10
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    Houston, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by malka22
    Thank you to everyone who responded to my fishing line question. I really appreciate all of your replies. The strangest thing, though, is that it's NOT coming out of the incision. It's poking through it's own spot...off to the side of the incision. Has anyone ever seen that?
    Yep. All of mine that have spit have been 1/2" or more off the incision.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    40
    Martha,

    My daughter had the same thing - the fishing line poked out of an area slightly above the scar. I just trimmed it down to the skin and the rest dissolved. When I asked about it, they said that they don't knot the end and rather leave a tail on either side and sometimes it doesn't fall off by itself after the rest has dissolved. If you left it long enough, eventually it would fall off on it's own.
    ******************

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    39

    Kim's Fishing Line

    Hi Martha,

    I've attached a picture of Kim's "fishing line". This was taken at about two weeks post-op (approximately). I trimmed it close to the skin and it has been fine since; about a week later when the bottom steri strips fell off, I trimmed that fishing line too.

    http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/l...r/P4071078.jpg

    Take care,
    ca-native (daughter had surgery)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    100

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by ca-native
    Hi Martha,

    I've attached a picture of Kim's "fishing line". This was taken at about two weeks post-op (approximately). I trimmed it close to the skin and it has been fine since; about a week later when the bottom steri strips fell off, I trimmed that fishing line too.

    http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/l...r/P4071078.jpg

    Take care,
    this is a bit off topic but i just have to say, thanks for the picture and also kim's scar looks really good, but maybe thats just me. lol.
    Danielle
    14 Freshwoman
    December 1st got no head the boston brace
    Pre Brace Curves:18C 25T 30L
    In brace curves: (1/23/08) 16C 20T 22L
    In brace Curves: (5/21/08) 19C 19T 15L
    We're Bringing CURVY BACK

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,211
    Quote Originally Posted by ca-native
    Hi Martha,

    I've attached a picture of Kim's "fishing line". This was taken at about two weeks post-op (approximately). I trimmed it close to the skin and it has been fine since; about a week later when the bottom steri strips fell off, I trimmed that fishing line too.

    http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/l...r/P4071078.jpg

    Take care,
    I've never seen one anywhere near that long!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    8,080
    Quote Originally Posted by ca-native
    Hi Martha,

    I've attached a picture of Kim's "fishing line". This was taken at about two weeks post-op (approximately). I trimmed it close to the skin and it has been fine since; about a week later when the bottom steri strips fell off, I trimmed that fishing line too.

    http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/l...r/P4071078.jpg

    Take care,
    WOW! That certainly appears to be an excellent correction! Her back appears completely normal except for the scar of course.

    sharon

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