We sought to determine which simple sliding knot configurations would have adequate strength for rotator cuff repair. Four knot configurations were tied with both No. 1 polydioxanone suture and No. 2 Ethibond suture (Ethicon, Somerville, NJ) using 3 different tying techniques: hand-tie, standard knot pusher, and cannulated double-diameter knot pusher. The knots were then tested to failure on a materials testing system. The weakest standard knot configuration was S =S =S =S. The other 3 knot configurations (S//S//S//S, SxSxSxS, and S//xS//xS//xS) generally failed in the 35 to 50 N range. Ultimate strength in this range can be shown to be adequate to withstand, without suture failure, a maximal contraction of a repaired rotator cuff tear within the rotator crescent, assuming certain conditions are met (suture anchors placed 1 cm apart, 2 sutures per anchor). More complex knots are not necessary for adequate knot security. However, the same configuration with only 1 suture per anchor will not be strong enough because the suture will fail under maximum physiological load. This study shows that we can predict the adequacy of a given knot configuration under maximum physiological loading conditions.
- Knot tying
- Rotator cuff tears
- Shoulder arthroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine