Loop modification of the traditional three-loop pulley pattern improves the biomechanical properties and resistance to 3-mm gap formation in a canine common calcanean teno-osseous avulsion model

Daniel J. Duffy, Weston L. Beamon, Yi-Jen Chang, George E. Moore
Am J Vet Res. 2022 June 28;83(8):375-383. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.21.09.0139.

OBJECTIVE To compare the biomechanical properties and gapping characteristics following loop modification of a 3-loop-pulley (3LP) pattern in an ex vivo canine common calcaneal tendon (CCT) avulsion repair model.

SAMPLE 56 skeletally mature hindlimbs from 28 canine cadavers.

PROCEDURES The CCTs were randomized to 1 of 4 experimental groups (n = 14/group) then sharply transected at the teno-osseous junction. Groups consisted of a 3LP, 4-loop-pulley (4LP), 5-loop-pulley (5LP), or 6-loop-pulley (6LP) pattern with loops placed 60° apart using size-0 polypropylene. Yield, peak, and failure loads, construct stiffness, loads to produce a 3-mm teno-osseous gap, and failure mode were evaluated and compared between groups.

RESULTS Yield (P = 0.001), peak (P < 0.001), and failure loads (P < 0.001), construct stiffness (P < 0.001), and loads to 3-mm gap formation (P = 0.005) were all significantly greater for 6LP compared to all other groups. Mode of failure did not differ among groups (P = 0.733) with 75% (42/56) of repairs failing by mechanism of core sutures pulling through the tendinous tissue. Pattern modification by increasing the number of loops increased the repair site strength by 1.4, 1.6, and 1.8 times for 4LP, 5LP, and 6LP compared to 3LP, respectively.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Increasing the number of suture loops compared to a traditional 3LP repair is a relatively simple technique modification that significantly increases teno-osseous repair site strength and loads required to cause 3-mm gap formation. The results of this study justify further focused investigation of increasing the number of suture loops in vivo for teno-osseous CCT repair in dogs.