Arthroscopic SLAP IIb Repair Using Knot-Tying Versus Knotless Suture Anchors: Is There a Difference?

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2018 Dec;47(12). doi: 10.12788/ajo.2018.0101.


The use of knotless suture anchors has increased in popularity; however, there is a paucity of literature examining the difference in clinical outcomes with traditional knotted fixation. It was hypothesized that knotless fixation would provide superior clinical outcomes, improved return to play (RTP), and lower revision rates as compared with traditional knotted fixation in the repair of SLAP IIb tears. Seventy-four athletes who underwent arthroscopic SLAP IIb repair with traditional (n = 42) and knotless anchors (n = 32) by a single surgeon were evaluated after a minimum 2-year follow. Demographic and surgical data, RTP, Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, stability, strength, and pain scores were compared. Knotless anchors had slightly higher RTP (93.5% vs 90.2%, P = .94) and RTP at the same level (58.1% vs 53.7% P = .81) compared with knotted fixation, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Knotless anchors were less likely to require revision surgery than traditional anchors (9% vs 17%, P = .50), but the difference was not statistically significant. When comparing knotless and traditional knotted suture anchor repair of type llb SLAP tears, knotless fixation required less revision surgery and had higher RTP, ASES, and KJOC scores; however, statistical significance was not achieved in this relatively small cohort.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / surgery*
  • Shoulder Injuries / surgery*
  • Suture Anchors*
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Young Adult