Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it.

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Surgical Index

Surgical Icon Surgical Index Surgical Options

Surg. Tie One Hand Surg. Tie Two Hand Surg. Tie Instrument Surg. Tie Slip Knot Ligature One Hand Ligature Two Hand Ligature Instrument Constr. Instrument Constr. Retrieve End Constr. Tied Around Constr. Slid Down

Knots by Name Terminology Safety Rope Properties About Contact Knot Store

Instructions: Move the mouse over each knot. Look at the description to find out what it can be used for. Click on the knot you wish to see. On the new page wait until the selected knot starts to tie itself.

Pictures of Surgical Knots Index
Surgical Knots Index

Surgical Knots Index

Index of Animated Surgical Knots

This page provides an Index of Animated Surgical Knots. Above, the photo of each knot is a link to its Interactive Step by Step Animation. The picture on the right shows all of these knots for a quick reference.

Welcome to Surgical Knots

Introduction: We introduced this section partly to accompany our research on surgical knots showing that the Constrictor is markedly superior to knots usually employed by surgeons1. The paper has generated interest and, as a result, the Royal College of Surgeons has kindly made it Available On Line.

Animations: We show four techniques for tying the Constrictor in Surgery as well as animations for Surgical Ties and Ligatures – all tied from the surgeon's viewpoint. Each animation can be flipped to suit right-handed and left-handed operators or inverted to help an instructor guide a student sitting across a table.

Names: Surgical Ties are commonly described as "One-Handed" or "Two-Handed" – slightly confusing because both techniques involve two hands. We have added the names "Push" and "Pull" based on the way that the end is guided through each knot.

Practical Considerations: A completed surgical knot may be out of sight. So, the technique may create the intended Square (Reef) knot or it may create an unintended stack of Half Hitches. This partly explains the custom of adding multiple extra Half Knots. The Constrictor provides a method of which eliminates this risk.

1 Taylor H, Grogono AW. The constrictor knot is the best ligature. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2014 (96): 101-105.

Make a selection from the images above or go to the Options Page.

Disclaimer: Any activity that involves ropes is potentially hazardous. Lives may be at risk - possibly your own. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled, including: the choice of materials; the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.

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