Objective: To evaluate the effect of a continuous locking novel epitendinous suture (nES) pattern with and without a core locking-loop (LL) suture on the biomechanical properties of ex vivo canine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) tenorrhaphy constructs.
Sample: 54 cadaveric forelimb SDFTs from 27 musculoskeletally normal adult dogs.
Procedures: Tendons were assigned to 3 groups (18 SDFTs/group): sharply transected and repaired with a core LL suture alone (group 1), an nES pattern alone (group 2), or a combination of a core LL suture and nES pattern (group 3). All constructs underwent a single load-to-failure test. Yield, peak, and failure loads; gap formation incidence; and mode of failure were compared among the 3 groups.
Results: Mean yield, peak, and failure loads differed significantly among the 3 groups and were greatest for group 3 and lowest for group 1. Mean yield, peak, and failure loads for group 3 constructs were greater than those for group 1 constructs by 50%, 47%, and 44%, respectively. None of the group 3 constructs developed 3-mm gaps. The most common mode of failure was suture pulling through the tendon for groups 1 (12/18) and 2 (12/18) and suture breakage for group 3 (13/18).
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggested augmentation of a core LL suture with an nES pattern significantly increased the strength of and prevented 3-mm gap formation at the tenorrhaphy site in ex vivo canine SDFTs. In vivo studies are necessary to assess the effectiveness and practicality of the nES pattern for SDFT repair in dogs.