Comparison of zones 1 to 4 flexor tendon repairs using absorbable and unabsorbable four-strand core sutures.
Caulfield RH., Maleki-Tabrizi A., Patel H., Coldham F., Mee S., Nanchahal J.
Absorbable sutures behave favourably in vitro and in an animal model. We report the outcome of flexor tendon injuries in a series of 272 consecutive patients treated over 45 months with a mean follow-up of 4 (range 3-12) months. Five hundred and seventy-six tendons were repaired in 416 digits. The patients were not randomised and all repairs were performed using a Strickland four-strand core technique. In 191 (73%) patients an absorbable core suture was used (Group 1) and in 81 (27%) a non-absorbable material was used (Group 2). There were six ruptures (2%) in Group 1 and two (2%) in Group 2. Using the original Strickland criteria, there were 72% excellent/good and 28% fair/poor results in the absorbable core suture group, and 73% and 27%, respectively, in the non-absorbable core suture group. This study suggests that appropriate absorbable core sutures can be used safely for flexor tendon repair.