Arthrex has filed a patent for tensionable, knotless, self-locking surgical constructs and methods for surgical repairs. The patent describes a one-piece machine taper construct that includes a soft suture anchor and a flexible strand. The system also includes shuttle/pull devices and a braided suture that can be furcated or branched for multiple passing sutures. The claim of the patent is for a soft anchor consisting of a flexible tubular member terminating into a smaller diameter suture. GlobalData’s report on Arthrex gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Arthrex, cardiothoracic surgery instruments was a key innovation area identified from patents. Arthrex's grant share as of September 2023 was 62%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A tensionable, knotless, self-locking surgical construct with soft anchor

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Arthrex Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230309984A1) describes a soft anchor for knotless tissue repair. The soft anchor consists of a flexible tubular member that terminates into a smaller diameter suture. The anchor can be formed as a one-piece machine taper construct, providing a seamless and efficient design. The suture used in the anchor can be a round suture, specifically a #5 or #2 round suture.

The flexible tubular member of the soft anchor resides in bone, while the smaller diameter suture forms at least one loop around soft tissue that needs to be attached to the bone. The suture passes through the flexible tubular member multiple times and can also form at least one splice within the tubular member. This design allows for secure and reliable tissue repair without the need for knots.

Another embodiment of the soft anchor includes a flexible sheath with a first and second end, one of which is an open end. A flexible coupler is provided at the other end, manufactured integral with the sheath as a one-piece construct. In this embodiment, the flexible sheath is a suture tube, and the flexible coupler is a round suture formed by braiding the suture that makes up the tube. The round suture is tapered and can form at least one knotless, closed, continuous loop by being passed through the suture tube in a direction parallel to its longitudinal axis. The round suture can have a smaller diameter than the suture tube or a diameter equal to the suture tube.

The soft anchor can also be furcated into multiple flexible limbs, providing additional versatility in tissue repair applications. The anchor can be used as a single suture knotless anchor, consisting essentially of a single suture. Additionally, a shuttle/pull device can be used in conjunction with the soft anchor to facilitate the passing of the suture around or through the tissue.

The patent also describes a method of knotless tissue repair using the soft anchor. The method involves securing the soft anchor in a first tissue and passing the suture around or through a second tissue to be positioned relative to the first tissue. This is done by employing the shuttle/pull device to form at least one knotless, closed, continuous loop around the second tissue. The method can also include passing the suture through the body of the flexible sheath to form a splice and a knotless, closed, continuous loop, subsequently passing the suture around or through the second tissue, and passing the suture through the body of the flexible sheath again to form a splice and the knotless, closed, continuous loop around the second tissue.

Overall, this patent presents a novel soft anchor design and method for knotless tissue repair, offering potential improvements in efficiency and reliability in various medical applications.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies