New Ceterix Meniscal Stitcher: Clever, But Is It Perfect?

Ceterix™ Orthopaedics, Inc. has announced the commercial availability of its NovoStitch™ suture passer in the United States. The device enables surgeons to place stitches in tight joint compartments, including those in knees, hips and shoulders, during minimally invasive arthroscopic surgical procedures.

Background

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but this is another attempt at coming up with an arthroscopic stitching device focused particularly on knee cartilage. If you’re interested in medical devices you’ll be well aware of the now thirty year old attempts to repair tears of the meniscus, which are among the most common knee injuries. Meniscal surgery is the single-most commonly performed arthroscopic procedure in the U.S., although actual repair (rather tan resection) makes up a small proportion of the whole.

In a news release, Californian device company Ceterix says its NovoStitch suture passer offers surgeons the potential to place circumferential compression stitches in locations and patterns that were previously not possible. As a result it claims the technology may help surgeons avoid removing meniscal tissue in some knee injury cases that are currently considered non-repairable. The company’s video, which can be found on its website, suggests the device might just work, albeit suffering the same limitation as many previous efforts by leaving the knots and sutures on the articulating surface of the meniscus.

That said, the company has also announced the publication of a peer-reviewed article in Arthroscopy Techniques entitled “The Circumferential Compression Stitch”, describing techniques for using the device in meniscus procedures.

The paper, which was authored by Los Angeles-based orthopaedic surgeon, Justin D. Saliman, M.D., Ceterix founder and Chief Medical Officer, notes that the technology enables surgeons to “freely sew within the tight arthroscopic environment of the knee and allows placement of suture patterns previously considered difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.”

Company comments 

“Millions of people undergo arthroscopic procedures in the United States each year. We are excited about the potential for the NovoStitch technology to offer additional choices for surgeons and patients in these procedures, particularly procedures involving knee meniscal tears,” said John McCutcheon, Ceterix’s President and CEO.

“Due to the difficulty of access and the limitations of current arthroscopic instruments, the vast majority of meniscal tears are not repaired, but are either partially or totally resected,” Mr. McCutcheon added. “This means that almost a million patients each year are undergoing procedures that will significantly increase their risk of osteoarthritis later in life. Our goal is to make meniscectomy less common by providing tools to make repair more feasible.”

Source: Ceterix Orthopaedics, Inc.