14 doctors weighed in:

I have a chainsaw cut on my knee. The ED said I was fine, stitched me up and sent me home. What do I need to watch out for?

14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Amir Khan
Sports Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: INFECTION

Acutely superficial infection would be the primary concern.
If the cut reached the knee joint then the risk of deep infection within the knee joint would be the primary concern. Secondarily, laceration of tendons such as the quad or patellar tendon and ligaments depending on location of the injury could also be concerning. Please see an orthopedist for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

In brief: INFECTION

Acutely superficial infection would be the primary concern.
If the cut reached the knee joint then the risk of deep infection within the knee joint would be the primary concern. Secondarily, laceration of tendons such as the quad or patellar tendon and ligaments depending on location of the injury could also be concerning. Please see an orthopedist for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
Dr. Amir Khan
Dr. Amir Khan
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Dr. John Weeks
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Infection

With sawdust, dirt, bar oil and chewed up flesh, this type of wound is an easy place for germs to grow.
If it gets more swollen, red and sore over the next day or so, or if you develop fever, chills, red streaks up the leg or trouble walking see a doctor asap.

In brief: Infection

With sawdust, dirt, bar oil and chewed up flesh, this type of wound is an easy place for germs to grow.
If it gets more swollen, red and sore over the next day or so, or if you develop fever, chills, red streaks up the leg or trouble walking see a doctor asap.
Dr. John Weeks
Dr. John Weeks
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Dr. Renee Burke
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Postop instructions

You will want to check for routine things such as any redness, swelling, increased tenderness, or new onset drainage.
These can all be signs of a wound infection. Also, if you have any fever, chills, or increased difficulty with movement in the knee you should contact your doctor immediately.

In brief: Postop instructions

You will want to check for routine things such as any redness, swelling, increased tenderness, or new onset drainage.
These can all be signs of a wound infection. Also, if you have any fever, chills, or increased difficulty with movement in the knee you should contact your doctor immediately.
Dr. Renee Burke
Dr. Renee Burke
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Dr. Barry Press
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Infection

Unless the chainsaw was exceptionally clean, there is a good chance that there is some foreign material in the wound.
I hope the er cleaned it out well before suturing, and made sure your tetanus immunization status is up to date. If pain doesn't gradually decrease, if there is increasing redness or drainage from the wound, go back to the er or see your doctor immediately.

In brief: Infection

Unless the chainsaw was exceptionally clean, there is a good chance that there is some foreign material in the wound.
I hope the er cleaned it out well before suturing, and made sure your tetanus immunization status is up to date. If pain doesn't gradually decrease, if there is increasing redness or drainage from the wound, go back to the er or see your doctor immediately.
Dr. Barry Press
Dr. Barry Press
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Dr. Steven Harris
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Infection

The principle worry here is the development of a wound infection.
This would present as increasing pain and swelling as well as heat and redness. A small, unchanging redness around the edges is normal but if it is increasing each day, notify your physician or return to the er. Be careful about bending the knee too much too soon, as well so as to not put too much stress on the closure. Good luck!

In brief: Infection

The principle worry here is the development of a wound infection.
This would present as increasing pain and swelling as well as heat and redness. A small, unchanging redness around the edges is normal but if it is increasing each day, notify your physician or return to the er. Be careful about bending the knee too much too soon, as well so as to not put too much stress on the closure. Good luck!
Dr. Steven Harris
Dr. Steven Harris
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Postops healing

There are many things to look for and frankly I am surprised that the er did not provide you with a list of possible signs such as bleeding, infection, separation, drainage, warmth, exercise limitations.
If not please call them and ask for wound care instructionns.

In brief: Postops healing

There are many things to look for and frankly I am surprised that the er did not provide you with a list of possible signs such as bleeding, infection, separation, drainage, warmth, exercise limitations.
If not please call them and ask for wound care instructionns.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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Dr. Jana Tomsky
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: For infection

If wound was not deep and clean-most likeli they out stiches and also updated tetanus shot.
After this keep wound clean and watch for any redness , increasing pain or discharge from the wound, follow directions when to come for sutures removal.

In brief: For infection

If wound was not deep and clean-most likeli they out stiches and also updated tetanus shot.
After this keep wound clean and watch for any redness , increasing pain or discharge from the wound, follow directions when to come for sutures removal.
Dr. Jana Tomsky
Dr. Jana Tomsky
Thank
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