A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO SUTURE CONFIGURATIONS IN ZONE II FLEXOR TENDON REPAIR IN ADULTS
Although the increase in the number of core sutures during flexor tendon repair increases the tensile strength of the repair, both increased handling at the time of repair and increased bulk at the repair site have been hypothesized as affecting clinical outcomes by increasing gliding resistance. The purpose of our study was to assess whether increasing the number of core sutures from two strands to four strands in zone II flexor tendon repair could improve the clinical results. A total of 42 patients with 60 flexor tendon lacerations in zone II were enrolled in this study. The injured tendon randomly underwent surgical repair by using one of the 2-strand or 4-strand modified Strickland techniques. Postoperative rehabilitation was the active extension-rubber band flexion method of Kleinert in all patients. The average duration of follow up was 8 months. The mean total active motion was 155.16˚ in 2-strand group (excluding two ruptures) and 154.33˚ in 4-strand group (P > 0.05). Using Strickland's original score, this corresponds to excellent result in 83.3% and 86.6% of patients in 2-strand group and 4-strand group, respectively. Statistically, there was no significant difference between the clinical outcomes obtained in these groups. Concerning the tendon rupture after the repair, all of the ruptures (2 cases) occurred in the 2-strand group (P > 0.05). We concluded that both suture strength and gliding resistance have influence on the result of flexor tendon repair in zone II, and increasing the number of core sutures and the resulting suture strength may be negatively affected by increase in gliding resistance.