Document Type


Date of Award

Winter 1-31-1994

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Clarence W. Mayott

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Richard Clyde Parker


This study was undertaken to biomechanically compare the interosseous and subperiosteal distal flexor tendon reattachment techniques. Twenty New Zealand white rabbits underwent division of the right second and third hind limb profundus flexor tendon distal to the insertion of the superficial flexor. All tendons were repaired using the Kleinnert-Bunnell configuration with a 5-0 nylon tied over a cotton pad on the dorsum of the digit. In half of the animals, the second profundus was reattached into a hole in the middle phalanx and the third profundus was reattached after periosteal stripping of the middle phalanx. The other animals underwent subperiosteal repair of the second flexor and interosseous repair of the third.

The limbs were immobilized for three weeks at which time 10 animals were sacrificed (Group 1), the limb disarticulated and frozen. The remaining (Group 2) were, following an additional five weeks, sacrificed and the limbs harvested and frozen. The limbs were thawed and the repaired tendons biomechanically tested to failure with an Instron, servo-hydraulic mechanical test system.

RESULTS: Interosseous Subperiosteal Group 1 (3 weeks) 17 ± 4 N 15 ± 5 N Group 2 (8 weeks) 45 ± 16 N 58 ± 19 N

Controls (3 weeks) and controls (8 weeks) produced mean and standard deviation values of 91 ± 16 Newtons and 100 ± 20 Newtons respectively.

These results were analyzed with the ANOVA, Analysis of Variances method. No statistical differences were found between the interosseous and subperiosteal repair sites. It is concluded that both techniques were successful in attaining sufficient healing. The repaired tendon-bone interfaces were capable of withstanding physiologic loads.



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