Do Skin Lacerations Imply Tissue Transfer From Surgeon to Patient During Arthroscopic Knot Tying?

Matthew B. Burn, Heidi L. Holtorf, Kevin M. Smith, Derek T. Bernstein, Domenica A. Delgado, Nickarr Prudhomme, Michael Deavers, Patrick McCulloch, Joshua D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To use simulated arthroscopic knot tying to assess (1) whether epithelial cells from the surgeon's hands were transmitted to the suture and (2) whether the number of knots tied or the presence of glove tears would correlate with the number of cells transmitted. Methods Knots were tied in a simulated arthroscopic environment using a nonabsorbable No. 2 suture over a metal hook. The surgeon was double gloved for each knot tied. For each “anchor,” a surgeon's knot was tied, followed by 3 reversed half-hitches on alternating posts. Multiple skin lacerations were sustained by the surgeon during each knot-tying session. Gloves were collected after tying 2, 4, or 6 anchors. Gloves were tested for perforation by (1) electroconductivity and (2) saline solution load testing. Cytopathologic ThinPrep analysis was applied and allowed for the number of epithelial cells found on each suture (within 10 high-powered fields) to be counted. Statistical analysis included analysis of variance and logistic regression. Results There was no significant difference in the number of epithelial cells identified in any of the groups compared with the negative control groups (P >.05) or with each other (P >.05). Glove tears were present in 3.3% of gloves (50% in inner and 50% in outer gloves) and 1.7% of gloves (50% in inner and 50% in outer gloves) by electroconductivity and saline solution load testing, respectively. There was no significant association between glove tears and the number of epithelial cells found on the suture (P >.05). Conclusions Epithelial cells were transmitted to the suture during simulated arthroscopic knot tying. However, despite multiple skin lacerations produced during knot-tying sessions, the number of cells transmitted was not significantly different when compared with the negative controls. The number of cells transmitted did not correlate with the number of knots tied and/or the presence of glove tears. Clinical Relevance Skin lacerations on the surgeon's fingers are often noted after arthroscopic knot tying. However, despite these skin lacerations, no skin tissue is transferred across the surgical gloves to the suture itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2248-2254
Number of pages7
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Volume33
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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