Loss of experimental animals due to tendon repair failure results in the need for additional animals to complete the study. We designed a relief proximal to the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tendon repair site to serve as a "safety incision" to prevent repair site ruptures and maximize safety incision-to-suture strength. The FDP tendons were dissected in 24 canine forepaws. The 2nd and 5th tendons were lacerated at the proximal interphalangeal joint level and sutured using a modified Kessler technique and peripheral running suture. Tendon width was measured where the FDP tendon separates into each individual digit and a safety incision, equal to the 2nd and 5th tendon widths, was performed 3, 4, or 5mm (Groups 1, 2, and 3) proximal to the separation. The tendons were pulled at a rate of 1 mm/s until either the "safety incision" ruptured or the repair failed. There was no gap formation at the repair site in Groups 1 and 2. However, all Group 3 tendons failed by repair site rupture with the safety incision intact. An adequate safety incision to protect repair gap and rupture and maintain tendon tension for the FDP animal model should be about 4mm from where the FDP tendon separates.
- Flexor tendon
- Gap formation
- Repair rupture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine