Minimum number of throws needed for knot security.
OBJECTIVE The purpose of the study was to determine the optimal number of throws to ensure knot security. STUDY DESIGN Knots were tied with 3, 4, 5, or 6 square throws with 0-gauge coated polyester, polydioxanone, polypropylene, and polyglactin 910. The suture was soaked in 0.9% sodium chloride and subsequently transferred to a tensiometer and broken. RESULTS A total of 225 knots were tied. Regardless of the suture type, tension at failure for knots with 4 throws, 5 throws, and 6 throws was higher than tension at failure of knots with only 3 throws (p < 0.05 for each). We found no difference in the tensile strength between knots with 4, 5, or 6 throws (p > 0.05 for each). Knots with 4 throws were significantly more likely to come untied than knots with 5 or 6 throws (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS Under laboratory conditions, the ideal knot has 5 throws to maximize tensile strength and rate of untying. This finding does not seem to vary by type of suture material.