BACKGROUND: The fatigue strength of three peripheral suture techniques for flexor tendon repair was compared by cyclic loading of the repairs in the porcine flexor digitorum tendon. METHODS: Thirty-six tendons were sutured using only peripheral sutures with 6-0 Nylon. An initial cyclic load of 10 N for 500 cycles was applied and increased by 10 N for an additional 500 cycles at each new load until rupture. RESULTS: The fatigue strength of the symmetric running peripheral suture was 85.0% and 144.8% greater than that of the two kinds of the asymmetric running peripheral sutures. CONCLUSIONS: Symmetric running sutures can enhance the suture strength and appears to be a useful technique for increasing the strength of the peripheral suture.
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