Outside-in continuous suturing is superior to interrupted suturing for repairing peripheral meniscus lesions: an in vitro biomechanical study using a porcine model

Ryan Breland, John Nyland, Yee Han D Lee, Daniel Culy, Robert Burden, David Caborn
Arthroscopy: the Journal of Arthroscopic & related Surgery 2013, 29 (12): 1974-80

PURPOSE: This in vitro biomechanical study using a porcine model compared peripheral longitudinal vertical meniscus lesion (PLVML) outside-in suture repair fixation strength using either interrupted or continuous "N" configuration No. 2-0 braided polyester sutures.

METHODS: Porcine lateral menisci were randomly assigned to group 1 (continuous) or group 2 (interrupted). Standardized PLVMLs were created in each specimen. Repaired specimens were placed in a specially designed clamp and loaded into a servohydraulic device. Specimens underwent preconditioning for 10 cycles (0.1 Hz, 5 to 20 N) and 500 submaximal loading cycles (0.5 Hz, 5 to 20 N), before load-to-failure testing (12.5 mm/s). A 30-second pause after preconditioning and after 10, 100, and 500 submaximal loading cycles enabled standardized digital photographs to be taken for gapping measurement determination. The failure mode was documented.

RESULTS: Displacement and gapping during preconditioning and submaximal loading cycles did not differ between groups. Group 1 withstood a greater failure load (mean, 118.3 N; 95% confidence interval [CI], 97.2 to 139.4 N) than group 2 (mean, 63.7 N; 95% CI, 51.2 to 76.2 N) (P < .0001) and displacement during load-to-failure testing (mean, 5.3 mm; 95% CI, 4.2 to 6.5 mm) than group 2 (mean, 3.2 mm; 95% CI, 2.1 to 4.3 mm) (P = .005). Group 1 failed by suture breakage or suture pulling through tissue, whereas group 2 primarily failed by knot slippage (P < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Group displacement and gapping differences were not observed after 500 submaximal loading cycles. PLVMLs repaired with a continuous N configuration, however, withstood greater load at failure and greater displacement before failure than repairs that used interrupted sutures.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Continuous suture in an N configuration may improve PLVML repair fixation strength.

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