Biomechanical comparison of the FasT-Fix meniscal repair suture system with vertical mattress sutures and meniscus arrows

Peter Borden, John Nyland, David N M Caborn, David Pienkowski
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2003, 31 (3): 374-8

BACKGROUND: A meniscal repair technique that combines the strength of vertical mattress sutures and the decreased tissue morbidity of an all-inside technique would be advantageous.

HYPOTHESIS: The FasT-Fix Meniscal Repair Suture System will provide load at failure, stiffness, and displacement equivalent to that of vertical mattress sutures and superior to that of Meniscus Arrows.

STUDY DESIGN: In vitro biomechanical study.

METHODS: After repair of a 2-cm vertical longitudinal medial meniscal lesion, three groups of six human cadaveric knees were biomechanically tested in a random order on a servohydraulic device, and three groups of five specimens underwent cyclic loading.

RESULTS: Specimens repaired with Meniscus Arrows had reduced load at failure, stiffness, and displacement, but there were no differences between the FasT-Fix and vertical mattress suture methods. During cyclic loading, specimens repaired with two Meniscus Arrows failed before test completion, whereas specimens repaired with two vertical mattress sutures (6.0 +/- 3.7 mm) or with two FasT-Fix implants (5.1 +/- 1.4 mm) maintained fixation with comparable displacements.

CONCLUSIONS: The FasT-Fix provided load at failure, stiffness, and displacement comparable with that of vertical mattress sutures.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The results suggest that the FasT-Fix may be preferable to Meniscus Arrows for meniscal repair with minimal associated tissue morbidity.

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