10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The changes in matrix material properties and intrinsic vascularization that have been noted in intrasynovial tendon stumps after avulsion injury may be of considerable clinical relevance with regard to the results of surgical repair. Our objective was to determine both the time course and the source of neovascularization of the tendon stump in an in vivo canine model of flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) avulsion after a clinically relevant delay in diagnosis. Method: The FDP tendon was released from bone directly by sharp dissection and the vinculum brevis profundus was lacerated, simulating an avulsion injury with interruption of the vascular supply to the tendon stump. After death at 7 and 21 days, tendon vascularity was evaluated with India ink injection and clearing using a modified Spalteholtz technique. Results: All 7-day specimens showed an absence of vascularity compared with the controls. In all 21-day specimens a direct vascular supply originated from local fibrovascular adhesions contacted the stump on its surface and blood vessels penetrated the tendon stump circumferentially. Progressive vascularization of the avulsed tendon stump occurred between 7 and 21 days after injury, originating from fibrovascular adhesions to the surrounding synovial sheath. Conclusions: Whereas previous studies of intrasynovial flexor tendon laceration and repair have shown a progressive proximal to distal neovascularization of the FDP during the early postoperative period, longitudinal proximal to distal growth from the proximal blood supply of the FDP was not observed toward the unrepaired tendon stump.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Canine in vivo
  • Flexor tendon
  • Neovascularization
  • Zone 1 injury


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