Arthroscopic stabilization of the shoulder: a prospective randomized study of absorbable versus nonabsorbable suture anchors

Arthroscopy. 2006 Jul;22(7):716-20. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2006.03.017.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate, prospectively, outcomes following arthroscopic Bankart repair performed with 2 types of suture anchor--the G II (DePuy Mitek, Raynham, MA) nonabsorbable anchor and the Panalok (DePuy Mitek) absorbable anchor.

Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of recurrent traumatic anterior instability of the shoulder who were seen in a single unit between April of 2000 and June of 2003 were considered for inclusion in the study. Patients were assessed preoperatively and postoperatively by means of a subjective, patient-related outcome measurement tool (Oxford Instability Score), a visual analogue scale for pain and instability (VAS Pain and VAS Instability), and a quality-of-life questionnaire (Short Form-12 [SF-12]). Length of follow-up was 1.5 to 5 years (mean, 2.6 y). The incidence of recurrent instability and the level of sporting ability were recorded. Patients were randomized to undergo surgical repair with nonabsorbable or absorbable anchors.

Results: A total of 130 patients were included in this study, of whom 6 were lost to follow-up; therefore 124 patients (95%) completed the study. Both types of anchor were highly effective. No differences in rate of recurrence or in any of the scores were noted between the 2 groups. In all, 4 patients in the nonabsorbable group and 3 in the absorbable group experienced additional episodes of dislocation after a traumatic event. Rate of redislocation in the whole series was therefore 6%. In addition, 4 patients, all of them from the absorbable group (4%), described ongoing symptoms of instability but no true dislocations. In all, 85% of the patient group have returned to their previous level of sporting activity.

Conclusions: No differences in outcomes of arthroscopic Bankart repair were seen whether absorbable or nonabsorbable anchors were used. Both are highly effective, with a redislocation rate of 6%.

Level of evidence: Level I, therapeutic randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Recurrence
  • Shoulder Dislocation / epidemiology
  • Shoulder Dislocation / etiology
  • Shoulder Joint*
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Treatment Outcome