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Smaller Iatrogenic Defects Created by Inside-Out Compared With All-Inside Meniscus Repair Devices in Human Cadaveric Model

      Purpose

      (1) To investigate the pattern and diameter of the iatrogenic defect that meniscal repair devices impose on meniscal tissue and (2) to determine whether repair-induced defect patterns or diameters differ across devices.

      Methods

      Sixty-one fresh frozen human cadaveric menisci were used (n = 9; eliminated). All-inside devices (n = 9) included ULTRA FAST-FIX, FAST-FIX 360, Depuy Mitek 0° and 12° TRUESPAN, ConMed Sequent, Zimmer Biomet JuggerStitch, Stryker IvyAIR, Arthrex FiberStitch and Meniscal Cinch II. Inside-out needles (n = 4) included ConMed HiFi, Depuy Mitek ORTHOCORD, Arthrex-2-0 FiberWire, and Stryker SharpShooter. Following India Ink staining, implant devices were inserted into cadaveric menisci. Samples were fixed in formalin solution and imaged with a high-resolution camera. Defects were classified by qualitative evaluation. Defect and needle diameter were quantified with software assistance. Statistical analysis was performed using analysis of variance testing.

      Results

      We analyzed 644 iatrogenic defects with mean defect diameter of 1.96 mm (standard deviation 0.86). For all-inside devices, defect patterns (n = 436) were 15.6% linear, 38.1% semilunar, 46.3% stellate, while inside-out devices (n = 208) were 95.7% stellate, 4.3% linear, and 0.0% semilunar. All-inside devices had mean defect diameter of 2.46 mm, while inside-out meniscus needles had mean 0.90 mm defect diameter (P < .001). FasT-FIX 360, ULTRA-FAST-FIX, and Arthrex Meniscal Cinch II induced smaller diameter defects than other all-inside devices (F = 20.2, P < .05). Strong positive correlation was found comparing outer needle diameter and mean defect diameters across all devices (R2 = 0.9447).

      Conclusions

      Needles utilized in meniscal implant systems produce the following basic defect patterns: stellate (62.3%), semilunar (25.8%), and linear (11.9%). A strong positive correlation was found between mean defect size and outer needle diameter across all devices. Inside-out double-armed flexible needles produced significantly smaller defects than all-inside devices. Of the all-inside devices, ULTRA FAST-FIX, FAST-FIX 360, and Arthrex Meniscal Cinch II produced smaller defects on average.

      Clinical Relevance

      While the true clinical impact of these findings cannot be drawn from the present study, this investigation provides necessary context to better understand reported similarities and differences in healing rates and outcomes between inside-out and all-inside repair techniques.
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