Knotted Versus Knotless Anchors for Labral Repair in the Shoulder: A Systematic Review

Published:December 08, 2020DOI:


      To compare biomechanical and clinical outcomes between knotless and knotted anchors in arthroscopic labral repair, specifically in (1) Bankart repair, (2) SLAP repair, (3) posterior labral repair, and (4) remplissage augmentation of Bankart repair.


      MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines to find biomechanical and clinical studies comparing knotted and knotless anchors using the search term “knotless anchor.”


      Overall, 17 studies met inclusion criteria. There were 7 studies evaluating the biomechanical outcomes, of which 5 found mixed results between knotted and knotless anchors for arthroscopic Bankart repair, 1 demonstrated a difference for SLAP repair favoring knotless anchors, and 2 showed no significant difference for Remplissage in terms of ultimate load-to-failure. Four studies evaluated knotless labral anchors compared with knotted anchors in patients undergoing arthroscopic Bankart repair with no significant differences in outcomes reported between the 2 anchor types, except in one study that found an improved visual analog scale score and a lower recurrence and revision rate with knotted anchors. Five studies evaluated knotless anchors compared with knotted anchors in patients undergoing SLAP repair, and none of the included studies found any significant differences in the patient reported outcome measures or revision rates. Of the 5 studies comparing operative time, 4 found a reduced time with knotless anchors.


      The clinical results show no significant differences in outcomes between knotless and knotted anchors for labral repair in the shoulder, including Bankart repair, SLAP repair, and posterior labral repair. However, there was conflicting evidence supporting knotless or knotted anchors in the biomechanical studies. However, operative times may be reduced with the use of knotless anchors.

      Level of Evidence

      III, A Systematic Review of Level II and III studies.
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