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Investigation of the effects of two-, four-, six- and eight-strand suture repairs on the biomechanical properties of canine gastrocnemius tenorrhaphy constructs

Yi-Jen Chang BVetMed, MS1, Daniel J. Duffy BVM&S(Hons), MS1, and George E. Moore DVM, PhD2
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  • 1 From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Administration, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906 (Moore).

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effects of 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-strand suture repairs on the biomechanical properties of canine gastrocnemius tenorrhaphy constructs in an ex vivo model.

SAMPLE

56 cadaveric gastrocnemius musculotendinous units from 28 adult large-breed dogs.

PROCEDURES

Tendons were randomly assigned to 4 repair groups (2-, 4-, 6- or 8-strand suture technique; n = 14/group). Following tenotomy, repairs were performed with the assigned number of strands of 2-0 polypropylene suture in a simple interrupted pattern. Biomechanical testing was performed. Yield, peak, and failure loads, the incidence of 1- and 3-mm gap formation, forces associated with gap formation, and failure modes were compared among groups.

RESULTS

Yield, peak, and failure forces differed significantly among groups, with significantly greater force required as the number of suture strands used for tendon repair increased. The force required to create a 1- or 3-mm gap between tendon ends also differed among groups and increased significantly with number of strands used. All constructs failed by mode of suture pull-through.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that increasing the number of suture strands crossing the repair site significantly increases the tensile strength of canine gastrocnemius tendon repair constructs and their resistance to gap formation. Future studies are needed to assess the effects of multistrand suture patterns on tendon glide function, blood supply, healing, and long-term clinical function in dogs to inform clinical decision-making.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effects of 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-strand suture repairs on the biomechanical properties of canine gastrocnemius tenorrhaphy constructs in an ex vivo model.

SAMPLE

56 cadaveric gastrocnemius musculotendinous units from 28 adult large-breed dogs.

PROCEDURES

Tendons were randomly assigned to 4 repair groups (2-, 4-, 6- or 8-strand suture technique; n = 14/group). Following tenotomy, repairs were performed with the assigned number of strands of 2-0 polypropylene suture in a simple interrupted pattern. Biomechanical testing was performed. Yield, peak, and failure loads, the incidence of 1- and 3-mm gap formation, forces associated with gap formation, and failure modes were compared among groups.

RESULTS

Yield, peak, and failure forces differed significantly among groups, with significantly greater force required as the number of suture strands used for tendon repair increased. The force required to create a 1- or 3-mm gap between tendon ends also differed among groups and increased significantly with number of strands used. All constructs failed by mode of suture pull-through.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that increasing the number of suture strands crossing the repair site significantly increases the tensile strength of canine gastrocnemius tendon repair constructs and their resistance to gap formation. Future studies are needed to assess the effects of multistrand suture patterns on tendon glide function, blood supply, healing, and long-term clinical function in dogs to inform clinical decision-making.

Contributor Notes

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

Drs. Chang and Duffy contributed equally to this work.