Similar to a large sewing needle with an eye, this suture passer is designed to be a very economical method of pulling suture down the femoral neck. The passer diameter is 3.2mm and with suture included, it is necessary to utilize a 3.5mm drill bit. This instrument is most useful when utilizing soft pliable suture material, while stiffer monofilament materials are usually pushed through the femoral hole by hand. The blunt end is also utilized to “pop” the toggle pin through the acetabular wall. With smaller patients and femoral neck tunnels less than 3.5mm, use cerclage wire to pull suture.
The 3.2mm diameter of the suture passer requires a minimum femoral neck drill hole of 3.5mm. Only use this instrument in patients large enough to safely drill a 3.5mm femoral neck hole. Depending on patient size, smaller patients should receive a maximum femoral neck hole of 2.0mm or perhaps 2.7mm. In these patients, a wire loop will serve the purpose of a suture passer.