Tying the Surgical Square Knot

Publication ID Published Version
7817 June 4, 2010 1
University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine


There are two basic techniques for tying the surgical square knot: the one-hand technique and the two-hand technique. The techniques differ in the fingers that are used. Different grips are presented as well as real time demonstrations and step-by-step guidance for each technique. Instrument tying of square knots is also demonstrated. This presentation works best when combined with face-to-face instruction and included handout.

The importance of correctly tying surgical square knots is well known. Every medical student in the surgery clerkship must be able to perform this task precisely and accurately. While introduction to the task should take place in a face-to-face learning environment the necessity for practice means study aids are useful in helping students learn to tie the surgical square knot.

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Brescia W, Van Voorst S. Tying the Surgical Square Knot. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2010. Available from: https://www.mededportal.org/publication/7817   http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7817

Educational Objectives

To be able to learn the two basic techniques of tying surgical square knots.


  • Surgical Techniques, Square Knot, Tying, Equipment, Operative Surgical Procedures


  • Medical
    • Surgery-General


  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Personal & Professional Development
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Professional Interest

  • Instructional Materials/Methods

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Learning
  • Lecture
  • Tutorial

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident


  • Video

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ISSN 2374-8265