Strength of sliding knots in multifilament resorbable suture materials

Gynecol Surg. 2012 Nov;9(4):433-437. doi: 10.1007/s10397-012-0753-5. Epub 2012 Jun 16.

Abstract

Experimental laboratory study was made to test the knot integrity of identical, non-identical and parallel sliding knots, with three and five throws, made with synthetic resorbable multifilament suture materials. The knots were made with Novosyn (polyglactin 612), Safil (polyglycolic acid), Vicryl (polyglactin 612) and Vicryl plus (polyglactin 910 + triclosan), all with suture size: 3-0 USP. Per material 10 knots for every kind of knot were tested in a tensiometer, resulting in a total of 240 tests. Sliding knots with three throws were compared with the five throw sliding knots, and a comparison of the loop-holding capacities (LHC) of the different suture materials was made. Differences in suture material, knot type, and number of throws in the knot had a remarkable effect on knot performance. Adding two extra throws to a three throw non-identical or parallel sliding knot resulted in significantly more reliable knots (P < 0.05). In identical sliding knots, this effect was not seen, but these knots showed low LHCs, indicating poor knot reliability. Compared to the other suture materials, Safil showed significantly lower LHCs. Most of the mean LHCs of the various knots with Vicryl, Vicryl Plus or Novosyn were not statistically different from each other. Identical sliding knots appeared to be very unreliable, especially when made with three throws. Non-identical and parallel slipknots with five throws demonstrated superior knot integrity compared with the same knot types with three throws. Safil had inferior knot properties as compared to the other materials, but Vicryl, Vicryl Plus and Novosyn behaved virtually the same. The type of knot and the use of different suture materials have important influence on the integrity of the knot. A high knot reliability is nowadays all the more important because of the frequent use of resorbable suture materials. The suture gradually loses strength during the resorption process, so that an extra margin of safety neutralizes the effect of this process.