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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Mechanical testing of different knot types using high-performance suture material.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Göttingen Medical Centre (UMG), Georg-August-University, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37099, Göttingen, Germany,



This laboratory study aimed to evaluate the loop security, knot security, cyclic loading resistance and load-to-failure rate of three different knot types with establishing a new experimental set-up. Additionally, the mode of failure of each knot was evaluated.


With the use of nonabsorbable, braided polyethylene sutures, USP size No. 2 [Hi-Fi®; ConMed Linvatec], the arthroscopic knot types Dines, SMC as well as the surgeon's knot were tested using a material testing machine. The knots were tied openly as well as arthroscopically. The set-up enables testing of knot configurations while eliminating friction between knot loop and its suspension points. Including all test procedures, a total of 216 knots were tested.


All openly tied knot types and ten of each type of arthroscopically tied knots resisted against cyclic loading of 1,000 cycles. With subsequent load-to-failure testing, openly tied knot types achieved significantly higher values of tensile strength than arthroscopically tied knots. Regarding clinical failure, defined as an elongation of 3 mm, Dines knot reached highest loop as well as knot security. Knot slippage was the most common failure mechanism at an elongation of 3 mm, whereas suture breakage was evaluated most at an elongation of 6 mm.


The new experimental set-up confirms the loop security of arthroscopic knot types. Using a knot pusher clinically is a key factor to attain this as compared to openly hand-tied techniques. The Dines knot presented the highest reliability. It may provide a secure tissue healing during rehabilitation and consequently can be recommended for clinical application.


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