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Performance Of A Knotless Four-strand Flexor Tendon Repair With A Unidirectional Barbed Suture Device: A Dynamic Ex Vivo Comparison

T. S. Peltz, R. Haddad, P. J. Scougall, M. P. Gianoutsos, N. Bertollo, W. R. Walsh

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With increased numbers of reports using barbed sutures for tendon repairs we felt the need to design a specific tendon repair method to draw the best utility from these materials. We split 30 sheep deep flexor tendons in two groups of 15 tendons. One group was repaired with a new four-strand barbed suture repair method without knot. The other group was repaired with a conventional four-strand cross-locked cruciate repair method (Adelaide repair) with knot. Dynamic testing (3–30 N for 250 cycles) and additional static pull to failure was performed to investigate gap formation and final failure forces. The barbed suture repair group showed higher resistance to gap formation throughout the test. Additionally final failure force was higher for the barbed suture group compared with the conventional repair group. When used appropriately, barbed suture materials could be beneficial to use in tendon surgery, especially with regard to early loading of the repair site and gap formation.