Surgeon's knot

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Surgeon's knot
The surgeon's knot before tightening showing the two twists in the bottom and the one on top.
Names Surgeon's knot, Ligature knot
Category Binding
Category #2 Bend
Related reef knot, Double overhand knot
ABoK #461, #463, #1209

The surgeon's knot is a simple modification to the reef knot. It adds an extra twist when tying the first throw, forming a double overhand knot. The additional turn provides more friction and can reduce loosening while the second half of the knot is tied.[1] This knot is commonly used by surgeons in situations where it is important to maintain tension on a suture, giving it its name.[2]

Surgeon's knots are also used in fly fishing, in tying quilts, and for tying knots with twine; it is particularly useful in tying raw meat with butcher's twine, as the wet meat creates similar risks of loosening as surgery. Some sources categorize the surgeon's knot as a bend, since it can be effective as such.[3]

Like the reef knot, the surgeon's knot capsizes and fails if one of the working ends is pulled away from the standing end closest to it.

File:Surgeon's knot.jpg
A surgeon's knot tied in nylon rope and tightened.

See also


  1. Cyrus Lawrence Day (1986), The Art of Knotting and Splicing (4th ed.), Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, p. 42<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ashley, Clifford W. (1944), The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, p. 75<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Geoffrey Budworth, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots (London: Hermes House, 1999), 54.

External links