Updated in 8/13/2012 10:37:00 AM      Viewed: 762 times      (Journal Article)
The Journal of hand surgery (2012)

A Biomechanical Comparison of 3 Loop Suture Materials in a 6-Strand Flexor Tendon Repair Technique.

Aaron W T Gan , Puay Yong Neo , Min He , Andrew K T Yam , Alphonsus K S Chong , Shian Chao Tay
PURPOSE: The braided polyblend (FiberWire) suture is recognized for its superiority in tensile strength in flexor tendon repair. The purpose of this study was to compare the biomechanical performance of 3 loop-suture materials used in a locking 6-strand flexor tendon repair configuration: braided polyblend (FiberLoop 4-0), cable nylon (Supramid Extra II 4-0), and braided polyester (Tendo-Loop 4-0). We hypothesized that using this technique, the braided polyblend suture would give superior tensile strength compared with the other 2 suture materials. METHODS: We divided 30 fresh porcine flexor tendons transversely and repaired each with 1 of the 3 suture materials using a modified Lim-Tsai 6-strand suture technique. We loaded the repaired tendons to failure using a materials testing machine, and collected data on the mechanism of failure, ultimate tensile strength, gap strength, and stiffness. RESULTS: Failure mechanisms for the repaired specimens were as follows: the braided polyblend had 50% suture breakage and 50% suture pullout; the cable nylon had 100% suture breakage; and the braided polyester had 80% suture breakage and 20% suture pullout. Specimens repaired with the braided polyblend suture had the highest mean ultimate tensile strength (97 N; standard deviation, 22) and the highest mean gap force (35 N; standard deviation, 7). CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the findings of previous studies showing superior strength of the braided polyblend suture. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: We were able to achieve up to 124 N in ultimate tensile strength and 48 N of gap force with this suture in porcine tendons. This gives greater confidence in starting immediate controlled passive or active rehabilitation after repair of flexor tendon injuries.
ISSN: 1531-6564