The purpose of this study was to compare two different methods of joining tendons of similar and dissimilar sizes between recipient and donor tendons for flexor tendon grafts. Flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) and peroneus longus (PL) canine tendons were harvested and divided into four groups. The repair technique we compared was a step-cut (SC) suture and a Pulvertaft weave (PW). FDP tendons were significantly larger in diameter than PL tendons (p < 0.05). The volume of the SC repairs using either FDP or PL tendon as a graft was significantly smaller than PW repairs (p < 0.05). The ultimate load to failure and repair stiffness in FDP graft tendons significantly increased compared with the PL graft tendons (p < 0.05). The SC suture can be used as an alternative to the PW, with similar strength and less bulk for repairs using graft tendons of similar diameter. Surgeons should be aware of the effect of graft tendon size and repair method on strength and bulk when performing flexor tendon grafts.
- Flexor tendon
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