Considering the remarkable progress that has been made in the purely technical development of surgery, there has been a strikingly small advance in the preparation of suture and ligature material. This is not due to the fact that our present material is satisfactory; quite the reverse. Silk and all other nonabsorbable material frequently act as foreign bodies; whereas, catgut is at best an uncertain quantity as regards its sterility, its calculable absorption time and its rôle as a tissue irritant. The essential reason for the universal use of silk and catgut is that, with all their disadvantages, they are superior to all other known materials.
The ideal suture is soft and pliable as silk, causes the slightest possible tissue reaction, possesses adequate tensile strength and has a definitely calculable absorption time, varying, with the caliber of the suture, from a few hours up to weeks.
Although magnesium is a highly