Effect of configuration on the biomechanical performance of three suture materials used in combination with a metallic bone anchor

Sonya M. Wasik Sydney University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Camperdown, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

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Rod C. Cross School of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

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Katja Voss Sydney University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Camperdown, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether different suture configurations could improve the biomechanical performance of 3 suture materials used with bone anchors.

Samples—3 suture materials (60-lb test nylon leader line, size 2 polyblend polyethylene composite suture, and 150-lb test ultrahigh–molecular weight spun polyethylene).

Procedures—Each suture material was looped through the eyelet of a metallic bone anchor and constructs were evaluated by use of an acute uniaxial load. Three configurations were tested for each suture material: single stranded (SS), double stranded (DS), and single stranded plus plastic insert (SSP). Force at failure, extension at failure, force at 3 mm of extension, stiffness, and site of failure of the suture were recorded for each test.

Results—For all sutures, the DS configuration was the stiffest and yielded significantly higher forces at failure and forces at 3 mm of extension. The SS configuration had the lowest forces at failure. The SSP configuration yielded greater forces at failure for all suture materials, compared with the SS configuration, with a comparable stiffness. All sutures failed at the eyelet in the SS and DS configurations. In the SSP configuration, 60-lb test nylon leader line and 150-lb test ultrahigh-molecular weight spun polyethylene failed at the eyelet less frequently than did the polyblend composite suture.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among the tested constructs, a DS suture configuration used in combination with the metallic bone anchor gave the best biomechanical results for all suture materials. Considering that the SSP configuration yielded greater forces at failure, compared with the SS configuration, covering metallic edges in bone anchors with softer materials might protect sutures and result in increased forces at failure.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether different suture configurations could improve the biomechanical performance of 3 suture materials used with bone anchors.

Samples—3 suture materials (60-lb test nylon leader line, size 2 polyblend polyethylene composite suture, and 150-lb test ultrahigh–molecular weight spun polyethylene).

Procedures—Each suture material was looped through the eyelet of a metallic bone anchor and constructs were evaluated by use of an acute uniaxial load. Three configurations were tested for each suture material: single stranded (SS), double stranded (DS), and single stranded plus plastic insert (SSP). Force at failure, extension at failure, force at 3 mm of extension, stiffness, and site of failure of the suture were recorded for each test.

Results—For all sutures, the DS configuration was the stiffest and yielded significantly higher forces at failure and forces at 3 mm of extension. The SS configuration had the lowest forces at failure. The SSP configuration yielded greater forces at failure for all suture materials, compared with the SS configuration, with a comparable stiffness. All sutures failed at the eyelet in the SS and DS configurations. In the SSP configuration, 60-lb test nylon leader line and 150-lb test ultrahigh-molecular weight spun polyethylene failed at the eyelet less frequently than did the polyblend composite suture.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among the tested constructs, a DS suture configuration used in combination with the metallic bone anchor gave the best biomechanical results for all suture materials. Considering that the SSP configuration yielded greater forces at failure, compared with the SS configuration, covering metallic edges in bone anchors with softer materials might protect sutures and result in increased forces at failure.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Wasik (sonya.wasik@gmail.com).

Dr. Wasik's present address is Veterinary Clinical Centre, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia.

Presented in abstract form at the Annual Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Science Week), Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, July 2012; and as a poster at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, Rome, July 2013.

Suture material for this study was donated by CEVA Animal Health Pty Ltd (polyblend composite suture) and St. Lucia Surgical Services (ultrahigh-molecular weight spun polyethylene).

The authors thank Dr. Navneet Dhand for assistance with statistical analyses.

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