|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
Many orthopaedic surgical procedures involve reattachment of a single tendon to bone. Whether tendon-to-bone healing is better facilitated by tendon fixation within a bone tunnel or on a cortical surface is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate tendon-healing within a bone tunnel compared with that on the cortical surface in a rabbit model of biceps tenodesis.Thirty-two rabbits (24 weeks of age) underwent unilateral proximal biceps tenodesis with tendon fixation within a bone tunnel (BT group) or on the cortical surface (SA [surface attachment] group). Postoperatively, rabbits were allowed free-cage activity without immobilization. All rabbits were killed 8 weeks after surgery. Healing was assessed by biomechanical testing, microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), and histomorphometric analysis.Biomechanical testing demonstrated no significant difference between the groups in mean failure loads (BT: 56.8 ± 28.8 N, SA: 55.8 ± 14.9 N; p = 0.92) or stiffness (BT: 26.3 ± 16.6 N/mm, SA: 32.3 ± 9.6 N/mm; p = 0.34). Micro-CT analysis demonstrated no significant difference between the groups in mean volume of newly formed bone (BT: 69.3 ± 13.9 mm3, SA: 65.5 ± 21.9 mm3; p = 0.70) or tissue mineral density of newly formed bone (BT: 721.4 ± 10.9 mg/cm3, SA: 698.6 ± 26.2 mg/cm3; p = 0.07). On average, newly formed bone within the tunnel represented only 5% of the total new bone formed in the BT specimens. Histological analysis demonstrated tendon-bone interdigitation and early fibrocartilaginous zone formation on the outer cortical surface in both groups. In contrast, minimal tendon-bone bonding was observed within the tunnel in the BT specimens.Tendon fixation in a bone tunnel and on the cortical surface resulted in similar healing profiles. For tendons placed within a bone tunnel, intratunnel healing was minimal compared with the healing outside the tunnel on the cortical surface.The creation of large bone tunnels, which can lead to stress risers and increase the risk of fracture, may not be necessary for biceps tenodesis procedures.