Strength of Different Krackow Stitch Configurations Using High-strength Suture

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The purpose of the present study concerning high-strength sutures was to determine whether increasing the number of locking loops with different size sutures or decreasing the suture size with increased suture strands would have any influence on the strength of Achilles tendon repair. A total of 32 fresh bovine Achilles tendon specimens were randomly assigned to 4 groups. For 3 of the groups, 1 suture was used (no. 2 or no. 5 FiberWire™ with 2 or 4 Krackow locking loops). For the fourth group, 2 sutures (2-0 FiberWire™) with 2 locking loops were used. After repair, the study groups underwent cyclic loading (0 to 200 N, 200 cycles) and then underwent tension to failure in a testing machine. Cyclic elongation, peak to peak displacement, ultimate load, stiffness, and failure mode were recorded for each specimen. The tendon width and thickness were measured in all specimens. The mean width, thickness, cyclic displacement, load to failure, and pull-out stiffness showed no differences among the 4 groups. The cyclic peak to peak displacements (0.01 ± 0.01 mm) were smallest with the no. 5 suture with 4 locking loops (p < .05), with no failure during cyclic loading, unlike in the other groups. In the group with 2-0 suture with 4 strands and 2 locking loops, 6 failed during cyclic loading. The number of locking loops used might have had an influence on the strength of the Krackow suture configuration using the larger diameter, high-strength sutures. However, decreasing the suture diameter, with a simultaneous increase in the number of strands, failed to improve the initial strength of the repair.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 5

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