Objective: To compare the biomechanical properties and gapping characteristics of four novel tenorrhaphy patterns in a canine flexor tendon model.
Study design: Ex vivo, randomized, biomechanical study.
Sample population: Superficial digital flexor tendons of 60 forelimbs (30 dogs).
Methods: Each tendon was transected 25 mm distal to its musculotendinous junction prior to tenorrhaphy with 2-0 polypropylene. Repair patterns included the three-loop pulley (3LP, control), exposed double-cross-lock (ExDCrL), embedded double-cross-lock (EmDCrL), triple-circle-lock (TCiL), and Modified-Tang patterns (MTang) were randomly assigned to each experimental group (n = 12/group). Yield, peak, and failure loads, gap formation and failure modes were compared.
Results: Tendons repaired with ExDCrL (p < .0001), EmDCrL (p < .0001), and MTang (p < .0001) sustained yield, peak, and failure loads ~2.2x, ~2.0x, and ~1.9x, respectively, greater than those repaired with 3LP. Loads to 1 and 3 mm gapping were also higher for ExDCrL (p < .0001), EmDCrL (p < .0004), and MTang constructs (p < .0017) compared to 3LP. Although TCiL constructs sustained higher loads, their resistance to gap formation did not differ from that of 3LP repairs. Failure mode differed between groups (p < .0001), EmDCrL, ExDCrL, MTang, and TCiL constructs failing predominantly by suture breakage compared to 3LP repairs that failed by suture pull-through.
Conclusion: Use of novel patterns ExDCrL, EmDCrL, and MTang improved resistance to loads and gap formation and were biomechanically superior compared to 3LP in healthy canine tendon repairs.
Clinical significance: These results justify in vivo evaluation of ExDCrL, EmDCrL, or MTang pattern for tenorrhaphy in dogs.