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J Hand Surg Am. 2005 Nov;30(6):1262-6.

Core suture purchase affects strength of tendon repairs.

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Department of Hand Surgery, Hand Surgery Research Center, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China.



It generally is considered that a certain distance should be maintained between the site of the tendon-suture junction and the laceration level of the tendon. In this study we assessed how the length of core suture purchase may affect the repair strength of transversely cut tendons using a 2-strand modified Kessler method and a 4-strand circle-locking method.


Seventy-four fresh pig flexor tendons were transected. Fifty-eight tendons were divided into 4 groups and repaired with a 2-strand grasping repair technique with the core suture purchase in the tendon stump ranging from 0.4 to 1.2 cm. Sixteen tendons were repaired with a 4-strand circle-locking tendon-suture repair technique. The core suture purchase of these tendons was 0.4 and 1.0 cm, respectively. The tendons were subjected to a linear, noncyclic, load-to-failure test in a tensile testing machine. The forces measured for initial gap formation, 2-mm gap formation, and ultimate strength were recorded for each repair.


The resistance to gap formation and ultimate strength of 2-strand grasping technique repairs increased significantly as the suture purchase increased from 0.4 to 0.7, 1.0, and 1.2 cm although strength remained constant from 0.7 to 1.2 cm. The strength of 4-strand circle-locking repairs with a suture purchase of 1.0 cm was statistically greater than that of the repairs with a suture purchase of 0.4 cm.


For both the 2-strand grasping and 4-strand circle-locking repair methods, the length of core suture purchase significantly influences the resistance to 2-mm gap formation and the ultimate strength of repairs in transversely lacerated flexor tendons. We determined that the optimal length of purchase is between 0.7 and 1.0 cm and that increased length of purchase from 0.7 to 1.2 cm does not increase the strength of the repair. Core suture purchase length of 0.4 cm or less results in significantly weaker repairs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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