To evaluate the effect of knot location on the biomechanical strength and gapping characteristics of ex vivo canine gastrocnemius tenorrhaphy constructs.
36 cadaveric gastrocnemius tendons from 18 adult dogs.
Tendons were randomly assigned to 3 groups (12 tendons/group) and sharply transected and repaired by means of a core locking-loop suture with the knot at 1 of 3 locations (exposed on the external surface of the tendon, buried just underneath the external surface of the tendon, or buried internally between the apposed tendon ends). All repairs were performed with size-0 polypropylene suture. All constructs underwent a single load-to-failure test. Yield, failure, and peak forces, mode of failure, and forces required for 1- and 3-mm gap formation were compared among the 3 knot-location groups.
Mean yield, failure, and peak forces and mean forces required for 1- and 3-mm gap formation did not differ significantly among the 3 groups. The mode of failure also did not differ significantly among the 3 groups, and the majority (33/36 [92%]) of constructs failed owing to the suture pulling through the tendinous substance.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Final knot location did not significantly affect the biomechanical strength and gapping characteristics of canine gastrocnemius tenorrhaphy constructs. Therefore, all 3 evaluated knot locations may be acceptable for tendon repair in dogs. In vivo studies are necessary to further elucidate the effect of knot location in suture patterns commonly used for tenorrhaphy on tendinous healing and collagenous remodeling at the repair site.