Biomechanical Evaluation Of A Four-Strand Modification Of The Tang Method Of Tendon Repair
We report a four-strand modification of the Tang technique of tendon repair that uses fewer sutures and fewer knots on the tendon surface. This repair consists of four longitudinal and two horizontal strands that form a “U” configuration within the tendon made with a single looped suture. Thirty-four fresh pig flexor tendons were divided into 3 groups and repaired with the four-strand modified Tang method, a double-looped four-strand method or a double Kessler repair (four-strand). The tendons were subjected to a single cycle of load-to-failure test in a tensile testing machine. The initial force, 2-mm gap formation force and ultimate strength of the four-strand modified Tang repair were statistically identical to those of the double looped suture and were superior to those of the double Kessler repair. Ultimate strength was 43.4 ± 4.3 N for the four-strand modified Tang method, 45.2 ± 4.0 N for the double-looped method and 39.1 ± 4.0 N for the double Kessler repair. The four-strand modification of the Tang method appears to have strength sufficient for protected active finger motion. Given our preliminary clinical experience with this method, we recommend this new and simplified technique for clinical flexor tendon repairs.