Pullout strength of meniscal repair after cyclic loading: comparison of vertical, horizontal, and oblique suture techniques
Success of meniscal repair with early or immediate motion depends on the ability of the suture fixation to withstand the loads applied. Vertical and horizontal mattress suture techniques were tested using 2-0 Ethibond, and 0-PDS and 1-PDS sutures (Ethicon, Somerville, NJ). Mulberry knot technique was tested with 0-PDS and 1-PDS sutures. Twenty menisci (60 sutures) were tested for each suture material. Sutures were placed 3 to 4 mm from the peripheral edge of the meniscus with double barreled cannulas for vertical and horizontal mattress techniques or a spinal needle for the mulberry knot technique, reproducing clinical techniques of meniscal repair. Mechanical testing of suture fixation was performed to failure at a rate of 10 mm/min on a MTS material testing system (MTS Systems Corp, Minneapolis, MN). Suture pullouts were reported as the load displacement to failure from the inner fragment only, because clinical failure would ensue should a suture pull through the inner fragment of a tear. Vertical mattress technique with 1-PDS suture had significantly greater load to failure than any other combination (P < .05). Analysis of variance showed that the vertical mattress technique had statistically superior pullout strength (P < .0001) compared with the horizontal mattress and mulberry knot techniques, which were statistically similar. There were significant differences (P < .0001) between suture types, with 1-PDS proving best compared with 0-PDS, which was stronger than 2-0 Ethibond. Selection of suture material had the greatest impact on vertical mattress load to failure and was not important to the strength of the other techniques.