Original Article| Volume 29, ISSUE 6, P1012-1018, June 2013

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Cyclic Biomechanical Testing of Biocomposite Lateral Row Knotless Anchors in a Human Cadaveric Model


      The purpose of this study was to assess the mechanical performance of biocomposite knotless lateral row anchors based on both anchor design and the direction of pull.


      Two lateral row greater tuberosity insertion sites (anterior and posterior) were identified in matched pairs of fresh-frozen human cadaveric shoulders DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanned to verify comparability. The humeri were stripped of all soft tissue and 3 different biocomposite knotless lateral row anchors: HEALIX Knotless BR (DePuy Mitek, Raynham MA), BioComposite PushLock (Arthrex, Naples, FL), and Bio-SwiveLock (Arthrex). Fifty-two anchors were distributed among the insertion locations and tested them with either an anatomic or axial pull. A fixed-gauge loop (15 mm) of 2 high-strength sutures from each anchor was created. After a 10-Nm preload, anchors were cycled from 10 to 45 Nm at 0.5 Hz for 200 cycles and tested to failure at 4.23 mm/second. The load to reach 3 mm and 5 mm displacement, ultimate failure load, displacement at ultimate failure, and failure mode were recorded.


      Threaded anchors (Bio-SwiveLock, P = .03; HEALIX Knotless, P = .014) showed less displacement with anatomic testing than did the nonthreaded anchor (BioComposite PushLock), and the HEALIX Knotless showed less overall displacement than did the other 2 anchors. The Bio-SwiveLock exhibited greater failure loads than did the other 2 anchors (P < .05). Comparison of axial and anatomic loading showed no maximum load differences for all anchors as a whole (P = .1084). Yet, anatomic pulling produced higher failure loads than did axial pulling for the Bio-SwiveLock but not for the BioComposite PushLock or the HEALIX Knotless. The nonthreaded anchor (BioComposite PushLock) displayed lower failure loads than did both threaded anchors with axial pulling.


      Threaded biocomposite anchors (HEALIX Knotless BR and Bio-SwiveLock) show less anatomic loading displacement and higher axial failure loads than do the nonthreaded (BioComposite PushLock) anchor. The HEALIX Knotless BR anchor showed less displacement than did the BioComposite PushLock and Bio-SwiveLock anchors. Neither axial nor anatomic loading had an effect on overall anchor displacement.

      Clinical Relevance

      Because of the strength profiles exhibited, this study supports the use of biocomposite anchors, which have definite advantages over polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and metal products. However, the nonthreaded BioComposite PushLock anchor cannot be recommended.
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