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Arthroscopy. 2008 Dec;24(12):1430-2. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2007.10.010. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

Suture passing needle breakage during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a complication report.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, St. Paul's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. hssongmd@yahoo.com


Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a well established surgical technique. Passing sutures through the rotator cuff is a critical-and at times, time-consuming-portion of the procedure. Suture-passing devices have been developed that combine a nitinol needle for pushing sutures through the tissue with a tissue grasper. These devices eliminate multiple steps in the repair process and improve the efficiency of the operation. However, as with any innovation, there is the potential for complications. It is vital that these technical complications be appreciated so that they can be avoided in the future. We report a case in which the needle tip of a suture-passing device broke during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The breakage was not recognized until after the operation. The patient was observed for 2 years without migration of the foreign body. To our knowledge, this is the first reported complication associated with the use of this type of suturing device.

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