Reprocessed arthroscopic shavers: Evaluation of sharpness and function in a cadaver model

Charles G.T. Ledonio, Elizabeth A. Arendt, Julie E. Adams, Jennifer Matz, Arie Boers, Keith Miller, Bruce R. Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study was designed to test limited arthroscopic shaver reuse following reprocessing and to compare the functional performance between new and reprocessed arthroscopic shavers in arthroscopic procedures using fresh cadaveric knees. A trial using arthroscopic procedures (menisectomy, synovectomy, and debridements) was conducted by experienced surgeons using cadaveric knees to determine whether the surgeons could correctly identify reprocessed shavers. Thirty-nine shavers were tested; the surgeons were given both new and reprocessed shavers. Thirteen of the 39 shavers were new and 26 were reprocessed (13 of which had also been sharpened). The surgeons were asked to assess whether each shaver was new or reprocessed and to indicate whether the shaver was functional or not. Cadaveric shavers were subsequently used in an engineering test developed to measure shaver blade sharpness. Comparisons in sharpness were made between new and reprocessed cadaveric shaver blades. The success rate in identifying reprocessed shavers was determined to be 42% (11 of 26), with an upper confidence bound of 60%, demonstrating that the ability to detect a reprocessed shaver is no better than chance (50%), with a margin of error of 10% (P=.0328). In addition, engineering sharpness testing demonstrated that new and reprocessed cadaveric blades exhibit equivalent sharpness. Surgeons were unable to distinguish reprocessed arthroscopic shavers that passed acceptance tests from new shavers based on functional characteristics. This outcome is not unexpected due to the fact that engineering testing of shaver blades used in the study indicated that they exhibited similar sharpness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


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