The gap formation of five core plus peripheral suture techniques for flexor tendon repair was evaluated by cyclic load testing. Fifty pairs of dental roll tendon models were sutured using six-strand Pennington modified Kessler core suture with 4-0 Polypropylene. One-half or three-fourths circumferential interlocking cross-stitch, or three complete circumferential peripheral suture techniques were performed using 6-0 Polypropylene. An initial cyclic load of 10 N for 500 cycles was applied and increased by 5 N for an additional 500 cycles at each new load until rupture. The complete circumferential interlocking cross-stitch had the greatest fatigue strength. The partial circumferential cross-stitches resulted in significantly larger gap formations at both the repaired and unrepaired sides than the complete circumferential sutures, and were also associated with early rupture. The full circumference of the cut tendon must be sutured using an interlocking cross-stitch peripheral suture to improve strength and avoid gap formation.
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