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Sliding Or Nonsliding Arthroscopic Knots For Shoulder Surgery: A Systematic Review

Caellagh D. Morrissey, Darby A. Houck, Esther Jang, Eric C. McCarty, Jonathan T. Bravman, Adam J. Seidl, Michelle L. Wolcott, Armando F. Vidal, Rachel M. Frank

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Background: Knot tying is a crucial component of successful arthroscopic shoulder surgery. It is currently unknown whether sliding or nonsliding techniques result in superior clinical outcomes. Purpose: To assess the clinical outcomes of arthroscopic sliding knot (SK)– versus nonsliding knot (NSK)–tying techniques during arthroscopic shoulder surgery, including rotator cuff repair, Bankart repair, and superior labral anterior-posterior (SLAP) repair. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A systematic search of the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases was performed using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. All English-language literature published between 2000 and 2018 reporting clinical outcomes utilizing SK- or NSK-tying techniques during rotator cuff repair, Bankart repair, and SLAP repair with a minimum 24-month follow-up was reviewed by 2 independent reviewers. Information on type of surgery, knot used, failure rate, patient satisfaction, and patient-reported outcomes was collected. Patient-reported outcome measures included the Constant-Murley score, Rowe score, and visual analog scale for pain. Study quality was evaluated using the modified Coleman Methodology Score. Results: Overall, 9 studies (6 level 3 and 3 level 4) with a total of 671 patients (mean age, 52.8 years [range, 16-86 years]; 65.7% male; 206 SK and 465 NSK) were included. There were 4 studies that reported on Bankart repair in 148 patients (63 SK and 85 NSK), 3 on SLAP repair in 59 patients (59 SK), and 2 on rotator cuff repair in 464 patients (84 SK and 380 NSK). Also, 6 studies compared knot-tying with knotless techniques (3 Bankart repair studies and 3 SLAP repair studies), while the studies reporting the outcomes of SLAP repair evaluated SK-tying techniques only. The failure rate for Bankart repair was 3.2% (2/63) for SKs and 4.7% (4/85) for NSKs. The failure rate for rotator cuff repair was 2.4% (2/84) for SKs and 6.3% (24/380) for NSKs. The failure rate for SLAP repair was 11.9% (7/59). Because of inconsistencies in outcomes and procedures, no quantitative analysis was possible. The mean modified Coleman Methodology Score for all studies was 65.1 ± 8.77, indicating adequate methodology. Conclusion: The literature on clinical outcomes using SKs or NSKs for shoulder procedures is limited to level 4 evidence. Future studies should be prospective and focus on comparing the use of SKs and NSKs for shoulder procedures to elucidate which arthroscopic knot results in superior clinical outcomes.