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Effect of epitendinous suture caliber on the tensile strength of repaired canine flexor tendons

Daniel J. Duffy DVM&s(HONS), MS1, Yi-Jen Chang BVetMed, MS1, Matthew B. Fisher PhD1, Aidan R. Chambers VMD1, and George E. Moore DVM, PhD1
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  • 1 From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607 (Chang, Duffy, Chambers); Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (Fisher); and Department of Veterinary Administration, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906 (Moore).

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effect of epitendinous suture (ES) caliber on the tensile strength of flexor tendon repairs in cadaveric specimens from dogs.

SAMPLE

60 cadaveric superficial digital flexor tendons (SDFTs) from 30 skeletally mature dogs.

PROCEDURES

Specimens were randomly assigned to 5 suture caliber groups (n = 12 SDFTs/group). After sharp transection, SDFTs were repaired by placement of a simple continuous circumferential ES created with size-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, or 5-0 polypropylene suture. Constructs were preloaded to 2 N and load tested to failure. Loads at yield, peak, and failure and mode of failure were compared among groups by statistical methods.

RESULTS

Yield, peak, and failure loads for SDFT repair constructs were positively correlated with ES caliber and did not differ between the size-0 and 2-0 groups on pairwise comparisons. Yield load was significantly greater for size-0, 2-0, and 3-0 groups than for the 4-0 and 5-0 groups. Peak and failure loads were significantly greater for the size-0 and 2-0 groups than for the remaining groups. Most size-0 (12/12), 2-0 (12/12), and 3-0 (10/12) group constructs failed because of ES pull-through; several constructs in the 4-0 group (5/12) and most in the 5-0 group (11/12) failed because of ES breakage.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested size-0 and 2-0 sutures should be considered when placing an ES for flexor tendon repairs in dogs. However, in vivo studies are needed determine the effects of increasing ES caliber on clinical outcomes for dogs undergoing these procedures.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effect of epitendinous suture (ES) caliber on the tensile strength of flexor tendon repairs in cadaveric specimens from dogs.

SAMPLE

60 cadaveric superficial digital flexor tendons (SDFTs) from 30 skeletally mature dogs.

PROCEDURES

Specimens were randomly assigned to 5 suture caliber groups (n = 12 SDFTs/group). After sharp transection, SDFTs were repaired by placement of a simple continuous circumferential ES created with size-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, or 5-0 polypropylene suture. Constructs were preloaded to 2 N and load tested to failure. Loads at yield, peak, and failure and mode of failure were compared among groups by statistical methods.

RESULTS

Yield, peak, and failure loads for SDFT repair constructs were positively correlated with ES caliber and did not differ between the size-0 and 2-0 groups on pairwise comparisons. Yield load was significantly greater for size-0, 2-0, and 3-0 groups than for the 4-0 and 5-0 groups. Peak and failure loads were significantly greater for the size-0 and 2-0 groups than for the remaining groups. Most size-0 (12/12), 2-0 (12/12), and 3-0 (10/12) group constructs failed because of ES pull-through; several constructs in the 4-0 group (5/12) and most in the 5-0 group (11/12) failed because of ES breakage.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested size-0 and 2-0 sutures should be considered when placing an ES for flexor tendon repairs in dogs. However, in vivo studies are needed determine the effects of increasing ES caliber on clinical outcomes for dogs undergoing these procedures.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Duffy (djduffy@ncsu.edu).

Drs. Duffy and Chang contributed equally to this work.