Purpose: Conventional suture repairs, when stressed, fail by suture rupture, knot slippage, or suture pull-through, when the suture cuts through the intervening tissue. The purpose of this study was to compare the biomechanical properties of flexor tendon repairs using a novel mesh suture with traditional suture repairs. Methods: Sixty human cadaveric flexor digitorum profundus tendons were harvested and assigned to 1 of 3 suture repair groups: 3-0 and 4-0 braided poly-blend suture or 1-mm diameter mesh suture. All tendons were repaired using a 4-strand core cruciate suture configuration. Each tendon repair underwent linear loading or cyclic loading until failure. Outcome measures included yield strength, ultimate strength, the number of cycles and load required to achieve 1-mm and 2-mm gap formation, and failure. Results: Mesh suture repairs had significantly higher yield and ultimate force values when compared with 3-0 and 4-0 braided poly-blend suture repairs under linear testing. The average force required to produce repair gaps was significantly higher in mesh suture repairs than in conventional suture. Mesh suture repairs endured a significantly greater number of cycles and force applied before failure compared with both 3-0 and 4-0 conventional suture. Conclusions: This ex vivo biomechanical study of flexor tendon repairs using a novel mesh suture reveals significant increases in average yield strength, ultimate strength, and average force required for gap formation and repair failure with mesh suture repairs compared with conventional sutures. Clinical relevance: Mesh suture–based flexor tendon repairs could lead to improved healing at earlier time points. The findings could allow for earlier mobilization, decreased adhesion formation, and lower rupture rates after flexor tendon repairs.
- Flexor tendon repair
- mesh suture
- suture materials
- ultimate tensile strength biomechanics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine