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Ex Vivo Strength Comparison of Bioabsorbable Tendon Plates and Bioabsorbable Suture in a 3-Loop Pulley Pattern for Repair of Transected Flexor Tendons from Horse Cadavers

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To test the failure strength and energy of 2 bioabsorbable implants applied to transected deep digital flexor tendons (DDFT) from adult horses. Study Design

Ex vivo biomechanical experiment. Sample Population

Twelve pairs of deep digital flexor tendons harvested from the forelimbs of fresh equine cadavers. Methods

Poly-l-lactic acid tendon plates were custom manufactured for application to the cylindrical surface of an adult equine deep digital flexor tendon. Twelve pairs of DDFTs were transected 2 cm distal to the insertion of the distal check ligament of the deep digital flexor tendon. One tendon of each pair was randomly selected for repair with a biodegradable plate or a 3-loop pulley method. Size 2 polydioxanone suture was used in both repairs. Repairs were tested in tension to failure, with peak force (PF) and total energy (TE) at repair failure recorded in Newtons (N) and Joules (J), respectively. A paired t-test was used for statistical evaluation with a significant level set at P≤.05. Results

Mean±SD PF for failure of plated tendons (1507.08±184.34 N) was significantly greater than for sutured tendons (460.86±60.93 N). TE was also significantly greater for failure of plated tendons versus sutured tendons. Conclusions

Plate fixation of transected cadaver DDFTs appear to have superior immediate failure strength than 3-loop pulley repairs. Clinical Relevance

Whereas in vivo testing is required, a bioabsorbable tendon plate may provide initial increased strength to support tendon healing and decrease external coaptation requirements.
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Keywords: 3-loop pulley suture; bioabsorbable plate; deep digital flexor tendon; horse; poly-l-lactic acid; tendon; tennorrhaphy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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