The resistance of a four- and eight-strand suture technique to gap formation during tensile testing: An experimental study of repaired canine flexor tendons after 10 days of in vivo healing

Haralambos T. Dinopoulos, Martin I. Boyer, Meghan E. Burns, Richard H. Gelberman, Matthew J. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a high incidence of gap formation at the repair site following tendon repair. Our goal was to determine the resistance of a 4- and an 8- strand suture technique to gap formation during tensile testing. We hypothesized that the 8-strand repair would sustain higher force levels at the onset of 1- and 3-mm gaps than the 4-strand repair. Twenty-two canine flexor tendons were transected, repaired, and tested to failure after 10 days of in vivo healing. Tests were recorded using a 60-Hz video system that allowed frame-by-frame playback for assessment of gap formation. The 8-strand repairs sustained 80% higher force at a gap of 1 mm than the 4-strand repairs (average force, 70 vs 39 N), but the force sustained at a gap of 3 mm did not differ between groups (35 N for both groups). For both repair types, a 1-mm gap typically occurred near the point of ultimate (maximum) force while a 3- mm gap occurred after the ultimate force. We conclude that the 8-strand repair is significantly more resistant to initial gapping during ex vivo tensile testing than the 4-strand repair but that the two repairs are equally susceptible to rupture if a gap of 3 mm or greater forms. Copyright (C) 2000 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2000

Keywords

  • Canine
  • Flexor tendon
  • Gap
  • Suture technique
  • Tendon repair

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