The concept of intrinsic tendon healing, the idea that tendons can heal primarily without the ingrowth of fibrous adhesions from the surrounding fibrous flexor sheath, has been validated both experimentally and clinically. The goals of the surgical treatment of intrasynovial digital flexor tendon lacerations are twofold: 1) to achieve a primary tendon repair of sufficient strength so as to prevent repair site gap elongation and possible rupture, and 2) to prevent the formation of intrasynovial adhesions that cause loss of tendon excursion within the flexor tendon sheath. It is well accepted that repair site strength, both at time zero and within the first 6 postoperative weeks, is directly related to the number of core suture strands crossing the repair site. The factor that limits more widespread use of multistrand suture techniques remains the surgeon's ability to perform the repair while also minimizing trauma to the tendon stumps and the circumferential epitenon. We describe an 8-strand core suture technique used at our institution that has been tested ex-vivo, in-vivo in canines, and used in human subjects over the last 4 years with excellent results.
- Flexor tendon