US 3910281 A
A suture having a surgical needle connectable to one end has an enlarged anchoring member secured to the other end thereof. A lateral projection is provided on the anchoring member. The lateral projection is grasped by a physical instrument to position the anchor member during the suture tying procedure and a slit formed in the anchor member releasably secures the suture to the anchor member for subsequent tensioning adjustments.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,910,281
Kletschka et al. Oct. 7, 1975 SUTURE ANCHOR 3,831,608 8/1974 Kletchka etal 128/335  Inventors: Harold D. Kletschka, Minneapolis; FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 2 33 Rafferty, Excelsior, both 122,158 1/1972 Denmark 128/335 0 mn.
73] Assignee: Bio-Medicus, Inc., Minnetonka, Primary Examiner-Richard Claude Minn. Assistant ExaminerHenry S. Layton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Merchant, Gould, Smith, [221 F1|ed= 9, 1973 Edell, Welter & Schmidt  Appl. No.: 404,297
-  ABSTRACT  us. c1 128/335; 24/18 A Suture having a Surgical P Connectable to one  Int. Cl A6lb 17/04 end has an enlarged mg member secured to the  Field of searchw 128/335, 3355, 334 R; other end thereof. A lateral pro ect1on 1s prowded on 24/18 the anchormg member. The lateral pro ectlon 1s v grasped by a physical instrument to position the an-  References Cited clhto; memger dttlxlring thle suture Itying procegllure and a I s1 orme in e anc or mem er re easa y secures UTITED STATES PATENTS the suture to the anchor member for subsequent ten- 1,s30,014 11 1931 Brady 24/18 t t 2,458,252 l/l949 Chattert0n.... 24/18 1 m g Jus men S 3,753,438 8/1973 Wood et al. 128/335 4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 7,1975 3,910,281
- SUTURE ANCHOR The present invention is directed to an anchoring device for releasably securing a suture'for subsequent tensin adjustments.
The need for a more simple procedure to tie off sutures has long been recognized. In this respect, a number of button-type, as well as various other shaped anchoring devices, have been developed in attempts to providev some means for quickly and easily tying off sutures. However, these devices have not gained great popularity due to various disadvantges which are present in their manufacture and use.
For example, some of these devices are of such construction as to make it extremely difficult to complete the suture tie off procedure or of a configuration'which is difficult or expensive to produce. A further problem in the use of sutures has been in the occurrence of or reduction in swelling of the flesh in the area of suture application. That is, when swelling of the fiesh'occurs subsequent to application of the suture,- undue tension is applied to the suture with'the result that tearing of the skin often occurs. Conversely, when the swelling reduces after the application of the suture, improper closure support for the wound becomes the case. Either of the above events serves as a major irritant to the patient, since the surgical stitches must often be removed and replaced or the skin tear becomes infected. Devices, which have attempted to solve this problem have, on one hand, been'overly complicated and expensive to' manufacture. On the other hand, certain of these devices are not constructed to provide for tension adjustments to the suture'either before or after the occurrence of or reduction in swelling of flesh in the area of the stitch formed by the suture."
Our novel suture anchor presents a deterrent to the problems present in conventional suture stitches aswell as those employing special anchors and tying devices. In this respect, a suture, having one end which is connectable to a needle, has an enlarged anchoring member secured to the other end. Subsequent to sewing application of the suture to'an incision, a lateral projection on the anchor member may be grasped by a surgical instrument to support the anchor member during a suture tying procedure. In this procedure, the'suture' is drawn taut and wrapped about itself beneath the anchor member or about a reduced waist portion on the anchor member. A slit formed in the anchor member releasably receives" and anchorsthe suture in a final tiewhich are integrally formed together to ensure'maxiphysician in mum convenience and simplicity to the carrying out hissurgical duties. n
In one form of our suture anchor, the reduced waist portion of the anchor elevates the suture at the point I vention will" become apparent: from the description below in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
YBRIEE DESCRIPTION O THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view inperspectiveof a suture anchor showing a conventional surgical needle in conjunction therewith;
FIG. 2 is a .view in perspective of a modified suture anchor and an integrally formed surgical needle;
FIGs. 3, 4 and 5 are perspective views of still further modified suture anchors, portions thereof broken away;
FIG. 6 is a view in perspective of the partial application of the suture anchor of FIG. 5 to an open incision;
and I FIG. 7 is an enlarged view in vertical section as seen generally from the line 77 of FIG. 6 showing the incision closed and the suture anchor tied off to form a completed stitch.
' DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS ture 11 having one end which is connectable to a typical curved surgical needle 12 by passing the end of the suture 11 through the eye 13 of the needle 12 in the conventional manner. An enlarged anchoring member 14 on the other end of the suture 11 is formed in the shape of a flat disc having opposite side surfaces 15, 16. The other end of the suture 11 is threadedly engaged through an opening formed in the anchor member 14 adjacent the periphery thereof, suture 11 is tied off, as at 17, to secure the suture 11 to the anchor member 14 in a manner to extend from the side surface 15.
A lateral projection, illustrated as a cylindrical post 18', extends longitudinally from the other opposite side 16'at a point'diametrically spaced from the connection of the suture 11. Post 18 has a slit 19 formed in the circumference thereof to extend angularly inwardly toward the longitudinal axis thereof. The'purpose of the slit 19 will become apparent from a description of the method 'of use of the suture anchor assembly 10a or other modified anchor assemblies 10b through 10e,'
hereinafter to be described.
With respect to the anchor assemblies 10b through 10c, each thereof is generally similar in nature to the anchor assembly 10a described and shown in FIG. 1. As such, parts of the several assemblies 10b through 10e corresponding to similar parts of the anchor assembly 10a, will carry similarnumerals with a respective exponent letter fb through 2 added thereto.
Thus, referring to the first modified suture anchor assembly 10b of FIG. 2, it can be seen that the enlarged anchoring member 14b isformed in the shape of a sphere and as an integral part of the suture 11b. The surgical needle 12b differs from the needle 12 in that the needle 12b forms an integrallongitudinal extension of the suture 11b. This is accomplished by forming the base of the needle 12b as a hollow'tube and inserting one end of the suture 11b therein, as at 22. The base of the needle 12bis crimped to fixedly secure the end of the suture 11b therein. Surgical needle 12b provides an improvement over the surgical needle 12 in that the opening formed in the flesh during a stitching procedure is somewhat smaller than that made by the surgica] needle 12 and a double thickness of the suture 11 of FIG. 1. Although the surgical needle 12b may be formed from suitable surgical steel, we wish it to be understood that such a needle may be formed from a suitable plastic material as an integral extension of the suture 1 lb.
Slit 19b is formed in a hemispherical plane of the sphere 14b and is disposed so that the juncture of the suture llb with the sphere 14b is offset from the slit 19b. In the drawings, the juncture of the suture llb with the sphere 14b is shown as being generally opposite the slit 19b for convenience sake.
The lateral projection of the anchor member b is shown in the form of a relatively thin flag-like projec tion 18b which extends outwardly from the sphere 14b. For convenience in grasping and steadying the body member 14b by an appropriate surgical instrument, not shown, flag-like projection 18b lies in a plane extending generally perpendicular to the hemispherical plane of the slit 19b. However, it will be realized that flag-like extension may be positioned other than perpendicular to the plane of slit 19b, as long as it does not interfere with the tying off procedure of the suture 11b. This assures that the spherical anchor member 14b is not drawn too tightly against the skin in the stitch forming procedure and correctly positions the spherical member 14b in the final tie off step of the stitching procedure.
FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of a suture anchor assembly 100 wherein the suture 110 is formed as an integral part of an elongated anchor member 14c. The elongated anchor member 14c is formed with a reduced waist portion 23 between opposite enlarged ends thereof. As shown, the suture 110 extends from one of the opposite enlarged ends 24 in general alignment with the longitudinal dimension of the anchor member 140, the enlarged end 24 in this embodiment being a sphere. The other end of the body member 14c is shown in the fonn of a cylinder and provides a cylindrical lateral projection 180 which may be grasped by a surgical instrument during the suture tying procedure. The cylindrical projection 180 is connected to the spherical end 24 by a reduced waist portion 23 such that the longitudinal axis of the portion 180 extends through the center of the sphere 24. A slit 190 is formed in the outermost end of the cylindrical portion 18c so as to lie in a plane which longitudinally generally bisects the cylindrical portion 18c.
Referring now to FIG. 4, a still further embodiment of a suture anchor assembly 10d is shown which includes an elongated body 14d having a reduced waist portion 23d between opposite enlarged ends thereof. A suture 1 111 is formed as an integral part of the elongated anchor member 14d and extends from one of the opposite enlarged ends 24a' in general alignment with the longitudinal dimension of the anchor member 14d. The other end of the anchor member 14d serves to form a lateral projection 18d on the anchor member 14d which may be grasped by a surgical instrument during a suture tying procedure (i.e., in the manner of projections 18, 18b and 180). In this embodiment, the anchor member 14d is formed with planar opposite side surfaces l5d, 16d which facilitate gripping of the body member 14d by the surgical instrument, not shown.
A slit 19d is formed in the other end or projection 18d so as to lie in a plane extending generally perpendicular to the plane of the planar side surfaces d,
16a, the slit 19d serving the same function as the slits 19 through 190.
FIG. 5 of the drawings illustrates a final embodiment of the present invention wherein an elongated anchor member l4e is formed with a reduced waist portion 23e between opposite enlarged ends, which ends are indicated at 24e and 18e. A suture He is formed as an integral part of the anchor member l4e and forms a juncture with the reduced waist 23e so as to extend transversely from the longitudinal dimension of the anchor member 14e centrally between the enlarged opposite ends 242, l8e. The symmetrical configuration of the anchor member 14e permits either of the enlarged ends 24e, l8e to serve as the lateral projection of the body member 14e suitable to be grasped by a surgical tool to steady the body member 14e during the stichforming procedure. Due to the symmetrical nature of the body member 14e, a slit 192 is formed in each of the enlarged ends l8e, 24e generally oppositely of the juncture of the suture lle and reduced waist 23e. This permits greater versatility in releasably anchoring the suture 11e during the final tie off procedure of the stitch as vwill be hereinafter described.
In the drawings, FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a stitchforming procedure relative to an incision 30. As used herein, incision is intended to encompass wounds, lacerations and the like which disrupt normal tissue integrity, as well as openings made for surgical purposes. As shown, the final modified version suture anchoring assembly 10a is illustrated in FIGS 6 and 7 and described in the stitch-forming procedure. However, it will be appreciated that similar stitch-forming procedures apply regardless of which one of the assemblies 10a through 10e is selected for use. In any case, procedures described in connection with the suture anchor assembly 10e will apply to the assemblies 10a through 10d except for slight variations which will be hereinafter .noted.
With the aid of a surgical needle, such as 12 or 12b, the suture 1 1e is passed through the skin 31 and deeper layers of tissue 32, 33 until such time as the anchor member 142 comes into engagement with the skin 31. It will be noted with respect to anchor assemblies 10a through 10d that the anchor member 14 through 14d comes directly into contact with the point of entry of the sutures 11 through 11d into the skin 31. On occasions, it is desirous to permit a maximum access of air to such a point of entry to prevent irritation and infection or festering of this area. The particular configuration of the body member l4e, together with the method of integral connection of the suture lle to the reduced waist portion 23c, permits this event to occur. when the stitchforming procedure has advanced to the condition of FIG. 6, a surgical instrument, such as a forceps or the like, not shown, is utilized to grasp the free end of the suture lle and a second forceps, also not shown, is utilized to grasp and steady the anchor member Me. In anchor members 14 through 14d, the lateral projections 18 through 18d are engaged to steady the respective anchor member 14 through 14d. However, with respect to anchor member l4e, either of opposite enlarged ends l8e or 24e can function as the lateral projection for steadying the anchor member l4e. When each of the anchor member 14e and suture lle have been engaged by a forcep, force is applied to draw the incision 30 to the closed condition of FIG. 7. Thereafter, the suture lle is positioned to extend across the incision 30 and, after proper tension is applied thereto, wrapped about the juncture of the suture lle with the reduced waist 23e and thence in a direction to encircle the reduced waist 23e one or more times. Finally, the free end of the suture 112 is engaged in a conveniently positioned one or the other of the slits l9e to releasably tie off the stitch formed by the suture 112.
In the suture anchor assembly 10a of FIG. 1, the suture differs in that the suture 11 is wrapped about the post 18 and finally releasably secured in the slit 19. With respect to the suture anchor assemblies 10b through 10d, the tie off procedure is to draw the suture 11b through 11d tightly across the incision 30 with the required amount of tension and thereafter wrap same about respective sutures 1.1b through 11d for a number of turns. Finally, the free end of sutures 11b through 11d are releasably engaged within respective slots 19b through 19d to tie off the stitch formation. An alternate method of tying off in the case of suture anchor assemblies 10c and 10d is to make only one turn of the suture 11c, 11d at the juncture of the sutures with respective anchor members 14c, 14d. Thereafter, the turns are wrapped about the reduced waist portion 23, 230' of a respective anchor member 14c, 14d before finally engaging the sutures llc, 11d in respective slits 19c, 19d. When the sutures 11 through lle have been finally engaged in respective slits 19 through 19, a desired amount of the remaining suture material is trimmed therefrom.
Under normal circumstances, the tissue surrounding the incision 40 may undergo swelling or, alternately, a reduction of swelling during the healing process. In case of the former, undue tension may be exerted at the points of entry and exit of the suture material with the result that sufficient pressure may be exerted on the adjacent skin to cause it to give way and be cut or torn. This, of course, often results in irritation and subsequent infection to the damaged are with much discomfort to the individual. In conventional stitching methods, as well as certain of the prior art anchoring devices, the only relief from this type of problem was to cut the stitches, remove same and repeat the stitch applying procedure.
The present structure obviates the necessity for completeley removing the stitch and permits tension adjustments to the stitch by releasing the free end of the suture from the slit end in which it is engaged. This, of
course, is done by first grasping the anchor member with a forcep as above described to steady same against lateral movement and possible discomfort to the patient. When the suture has been released from the slit, sufficient slack is allowed to compensate for the swelling and the suture reengaged within the slit. Should the problem be of the latter type (a reduction in swelling), the above procedure is followed and the suture is drawn tighter to compensate for the decreased swelling. In either case, it will be realized that such a tensioning adjustment may be accomplished Within a minimum amount of time and with a minimum of discomfort to the patient. The structures of the various disclosed suture anchor assemblies 10a through 102 are of such configurations as to be easily formed from suitable plastic materials which do not affect the damaged skin tissue with which they come into contact. In addition, these suture anchor assemblies 10a through l0e are simple and relatively inexpensive to manufacture. The increased cost over conventional suture material is negligible due to the obvious utility of these suture anchor assemblies.
1. A suture anchor comprising:
a. a suture having one end adapted for connection to a needle;
b. an enlarged anchoring member connected to the other end of said suture, the enlarged anchoring member comprising a flat disc having opposed side surfaces;
c. a cylindrical post projecting from one of said side surfaces and adapted to be grasped by a surgical instrument during a suture tying procedure; and
d. a friction slot formed in the cylindrical post to releasably receive and anchor the suture during the suture tying procedure.
2. The structure of claim 1, wherein the suture is secured to a peripheral portion of the disc and extends from the other of said opposite side surfaces.
3. The structure of claim 1, wherein the post projects perpendicularly from said one side surface remote from the center of the disc.
4. The structure of claim 1 wherein said friction slot is formed in the circumference of said post and extends angularly inwardly toward the longitudinal axis thereof.