Strauss Surgical, a Miami-based manufacturer of endoscopes and surgical instrumentation, recently announced the release and patent pending of the Cobra Suture Passer with an Integrated Reusable Steel Needle.
The Cobra is the first arthroscopic mechanical suture passer which performs precise grasping and suture passing without the need for any disposable needle cartridge, due to its Integrated Reusable Steel Needle.
Most suture passers use a disposable nitinol needle, which is bent within an instrument in order to pass suture through a tendon. By contrast, the Cobra uses a proprietary hardened stainless steel alloy to form a curved needle in its natural state.
There are several major clinical needs which are being met with the Cobra, including safety and performance. Regarding safety, there have been many adverse events reported to the FDA of nitinol needles breaking off into the patient’s joint space, which is often times, unrecoverable. The Cobra®’s needle technology is naturally curved, does not need to be bent, and has an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) far superior than nitinol. The Cobra performs better than nitinol in passing through the tendon in certain difficult cases such as calcified rotator cuff tendons or thick cuffs. Finally, nitinol needles are prone to oblique migration through a fibrous tendon, but the Cobra’s needle is precise with no migration.
An additional benefit of the Cobra is cost savings. The cost of using disposable nitinol needles is normally between $165 and $200 per rotator cuff repair surgery. As a percentage of the total cost for a rotator cuff repair, this represents a whopping 9-17% of the total facility case cost depending on the number of suture anchors used. In fact, the needle is the second largest cost behind the shoulder anchor implant. As such, the Cobra can help save millions of dollars for healthcare facilities worldwide. Finally, the Cobra is a green technology, eliminating medical waste and reducing inventory costs.