This study compared the biomechanical properties of intrasynovial and extrasynovial flexor tendon autografts in an adult canine model. Flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tissue from the fifth toe of the hindpaw was harvested and transplanted as an intrasynovial graft to the second toe of the left forepaw of each animal. Peroneus longus tendon from the lateral compartment of the hind leg served as the source for the extrasynovial graft that was transplanted to the fifth toe of each dog's left forepaw. The second and fifth FDP tendons of the right forepaw constituted the respective contralateral controls. Postoperatively, each animal underwent a regimen of daily controlled passive mobilization. Three and 6 weeks after grafting, 6 animals were euthanized and their grafts evaluated for gliding function and tensile properties. Results reveal significantly greater angular rotation of the proximal interphalangeal joint in the digits that received intrasynovial grafts relative to those that received transplanted extrasynovial tendon at both 3 and 6 weeks postoperatively. The linear stiffness of the tendons receiving extrasynovial graft significantly exceeded that of the intrasynovial group. These findings correlated with histologic data that postoperative adhesions existed in the specimens with an extrasynovial graft. In addition, the extrasynovial tendon graft complex exhibited significantly higher ultimate loads than intrasynovial tendon graft complex at 6 weeks.