An In Vivo Comparison: Novel Mesh Suture Versus Traditional Suture-Based Repair in a Rabbit Tendon Model

Lindsay E. Janes, Lauren M. Mioton, Megan E. Fracol, Jason H. Ko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Despite advancements in surgical techniques, suture pull-though and rupture continue to limit the early range of motion and functional rehabilitation after flexor tendon repairs. The aim of this study was to evaluate a suturable mesh compared with a commonly used braided suture in an in vivo rabbit intrasynovial tendon model. Methods: Twenty-four New Zealand female rabbits (3–4 kg) were injected with 2 units/kg botulinum toxin evenly distributed into 4 sites in the left calf. After 1 week, the animals underwent surgical tenotomy of the flexor digitorum tendon and were randomized to repair with either 2-0 Duramesh suturable mesh or to 2-0 Fiberwire using a 2-strand modified Kessler and 6-0 polypropylene running epitendinous suture. Rabbits were killed at 2, 4, and 9 weeks after surgery. Results: Grouping across time points, 58.3% (7 of 12) of Duramesh repairs were found to be intact for the explant compared with 16.7% (2 of 12) of Fiberwire repairs (P = .09). At 2 weeks, the mean Duramesh repairs were significantly stronger than the Fiberwire repairs with a mean failure load of 50.7 ± 12.7 N compared to 14.8 ± 18.3 N (P = .02). The load supported by the Duramesh repairs at 2 weeks (mean 50.7 ± 12.7 N) was similar to the load supported by both Fiberwire (52.2 ± 13.6 N) and Duramesh (57.6 ± 22.3 N) at 4 weeks. The strength of repair between Fiberwire and Duramesh at 4 weeks and 9 weeks was not significantly different. Conclusions: The 2-strand tendon repair with suturable mesh achieved significantly greater strength at 2 weeks than the conventional suture material. Future studies should evaluate the strength of repair prior to 2 weeks to determine the strength curve for this novel suture material. Clinical Relevance: This study evaluates the utility of a novel suturable mesh for flexor tendon repair in an in vivo rabbit model compared with conventional suture material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery Global Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Biomechanical study
  • Mesh suture
  • Tendon repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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