The fatigue strength of three peripheral suture techniques for flexor tendon repair was compared by cyclic loading of repairs in a cotton dental roll tendon model. Thirty pairs of dental roll were sutured using only peripheral sutures with 6-0 polypropylene. An initial cyclic load of 5 N for 500 cycles was applied and increased by 5 N for an additional 500 cycles at each new load until rupture. The fatigue strength of an interlocking cross-stitch suture was 113% greater than a running suture and 36% greater than a standard cross-stitch suture. Interlocking the cross-stitch prevented shortening of the transverse portions under load and appears to be a useful technique for increasing the strength of the peripheral suture.
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