Biomechanical Comparison of Tape Versus Suture in Simulated Achilles Tendon Midsubstance Rupture
As sutures have progressed in strength, increasing evidence supports the suture tendon interface as the site where most tendon repairs fail. We hypothesized that suture tape would have a higher load to failure versus polyblend suture due to its larger surface area. Eleven matched pairs of cadaveric Achilles tendons were sutured with 2 mm wide braided ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene tape (Tape) or 2 mm wide braided ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene suture (Suture) using a Krackow repair method. All Achilles repair constructs were cyclically loaded, after which they were loaded to failure. Change in suture footprint height, clinical and ultimate load to failure, and location of failure was recorded. Clinical loads to failure for Tape and Suture were 290.4 ± 74.8 and 231.7 ± 70.4 Newtons, respectively (p= .01). Ultimate loads to failure for Tape and Suture were 352.9 ± 108.1 and 289.8 ± 53.7 Newtons, respectively (p = .11). Cyclic testing resulted in significant changes in footprint height for both Tape and Suture, but the 2 sutures did not differ in terms of the magnitude of change in footprint height (p = .52). The suture tendon interface was the most common site of failure for both Tape and Suture. Our results suggest that Tape may provide added repair strength in vivo for Achilles midsubstance rupture.
Meeks, B. D.,
Kiskaddon, E. M.,
Froehle, A. W.,
& Laughlin, R. T.
(2021). Biomechanical Comparison of Tape Versus Suture in Simulated Achilles Tendon Midsubstance Rupture. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, 60 (4), 697-701.