Rotator cuff repair with a novel mesh suture: An ex vivo assessment of mechanical properties

Tao Zhang, Taku Hatta, Andrew R. Thoreson, Cheng Chang Lu, Scott P. Steinmann, Steven L. Moran, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Surgical repair is a common treatment for rotator cuff tear; however, the retear rate is high. A high degree of suture repair strength is important to ensure rotator cuff integrity for healing. The purpose of this study was to compare the mechanical performance of rotator cuffs repaired with a mesh suture versus traditional polydioxanone suture II and FiberWire sutures in a canine in vitro model. Seventy-two canine shoulders were harvested. An infraspinatus tendon tear was created in each shoulder. Two suture techniques—simple interrupted sutures and two-row suture bridge—were used to reconnect the infraspinatus tendon to the greater tuberosity, using three different suture types: Mesh suture, polydioxanone suture II, or FiberWire. Shoulders were loaded to failure under displacement control at a rate of 20 mm/min. Failure load was compared between suture types and techniques. Ultimate failure load was significantly higher in the specimens repaired with mesh suture than with polydioxanone suture II or FiberWire, regardless of suture technique. There was no significant difference in stiffness among the six groups, with the exception that FiberWire repairs were stiffer than polydioxanone suture II repairs with the simple interrupted technique. All specimens failed by suture pull-out from the tendon. Based on our biomechanical findings, rotator cuff repair with the mesh suture might provide superior initial strength against failure compared with the traditional polydioxanone suture II or FiberWire sutures. Use of the mesh suture may provide increased initial fixation strength and decrease gap formation, which could result in improved healing and lower re-tear rates following rotator cuff repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-992
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • mesh
  • pull-out
  • repair
  • rotator cuff tear
  • surgical technique
  • suture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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