Traverse Creek Inc

Does this chainsaw wound need stitches?



ArboristSite Guru
Jan 20, 2019
Man...I got flashbacks when I saw that wound! I had nearly the same wound across my left knee cap, about 13 years ago. Clearing our house lot off, end of the day, thinking how I'm getting tired. Few small scraggly spruce in front of me, so I decided to lop em off. As I did, a couple came my way, pushed the still turning, freshly sharpened 20" bar and chain on my 038 onto the knee. Never felt a thing. Only wearing jean's... tore a strip of flesh out, about the length of my index finger and 1/2" wide...4 inside stitches and 4 out. Took a super long time to heal and I couldn't bend my knee for 2 months. Ended up walking off balance and hurting my right knee because of it. Have two pair of very nice cutting pants now
My heart jumped when I saw it, took me right back to the day a guy cut through my jeans with an old McCullough and a 3ft bar,
I was looking and looking waiting for the pour of blood to start, couldn't believe he managed to cut the jeans only, and on the tight
part a few inches above my knee, I had a miraculous escape, don't even know if it had a chain stop when you let go the trigger, I
suspect not.


Old enough to know better.
Feb 26, 2008
Kansas City
Just a side note about wounds, bad results, and doctors:

I recently attended the funeral of my brother-in-law. A few weeks before, he fell off a ladder and hurt his leg. X-rays didn't find a fracture; "treat it gently, you'll be ok." Time passes, and it still hurts. Orthopod (bone doctor) says "Let's take an MRI of that sore leg... Oh my! You have a non-displaced fracture!" So! Cast and bed rest; all is well, you'll be fine.

Within a week he fell down dead from pulmonary embolism. Basically, a blood clot went downstream from his leg and got filtered out by the lungs, thereby stopping them up. It turns out that deep vein thrombosis is caused most often in the legs by inactivity, lying prone, or extended sitting with poor blood circulation.

My personal belief is that if he had kept walking on it, living the uncomfortable to move but still active life, he might have been just fine, having never formed the blood clot that killed him. Since the doctor told him to stay off his feet in the fear that the hairline fracture might break all the way, I think that wasn't necessarily the best advice.
Of course, hindsight is 20-20, but pulmonary embolism is a common side effect among older folks with broken legs.

Bottom line: sometimes we get better in spite of what our doctors do for us. Results are better now than 200 years ago, but going to see the doctor isn't always the best choice. Other times, it is your only hope.

Yes, I have been self-treating myself for many years. But I also know more about medicine and medical necessicity than most folks. I have removed a full leg cast, 'cause it was a piece of crap that I didn't need, I have put in my own stitches, fixed cuts with superglue and sticky strips, and countless successful treatments with veterinary antibiotics. I seldom return to the doctor for stitch removal, and I really only go to the doctor/hospital when I know what is wrong and whether on not I can deal with it on my own. That being said, I am probably alive or at least not a serious cripple because of all of my medical rescues. I have also been misdiagnosed for fractured knee, collarbone, crushed lumbar vertebra, inguinal hernia, and i've had unnecessary facial surgery foisted off on me when I was too young to know it.
So! Go see the doctor if you can afford it. Just keep your eyes & ears open, and get a second opinion if they don't give sensible advice.


ArboristSite Operative
Oct 6, 2020
San Luis Valley, Colorado
Saltwater fish get lots of infections. They pass diseases around just like people do. They also get eaten by something else pretty quickly if they start to slow down from feeling ill.

It's just that tree guys usually aren't getting cut where the infectious saltwater bacteria are located. The bacteria that hang out in forests & urban settings generally aren't well adapted to salt water either, so there might be something to be said for the saltwater treatments that have been suggested.

As far as that goes, I don't recall too many human pathogens that are spread around in salt water either, and that is based on courses I took in pathogenic microbiology quite a few years back.
I've only got 43 years of fish experience. Another student who thinks he can trump the real world with a book.