In this review, the author presents the physiologic events in wound healing. A discussion is provided with emphasis on proper tissue handling and suture techniques. A variety of methods are demonstrated as they are applied to specific clinical situations in foot and ankle surgery. It is the intent of this discussion to add information and techniques that may be used to complement general knowledge in wound and incision repair.
Background: Ideal suture technique and type in tendon repair are remain unclear. This biomechanical study aimed to assess the biomechanical characteristics of three techniques, modified Kessler (mKE), modified Krackow (mKR), and modified tension Bunnell (mtBU), in sheep Achilles’ tendon tear repair using three suture types, polypropylene, polyester, and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) sutures, which are also compared.
Methods: Sixty-three Achilles’ tendons harvested from sheep were transversely hacked as a replacement for rupture in a standardized measure and repaired using mKE, mKR, and mtBU techniques with No. 2 polypropylene, polyester, and UHMWPE sutures. Biomechanical parameters, such as Young’s modulus, ultimate strength, and strength to the 5-mm gap were recorded for statistical analysis.
Results: The mtBU technique with UHMWPE use resulted in increased ultimate strength, strenght to 5-mm gap, Young’s modulus, and quantity of specimens with low clinical failure modes compared to other techniques with other suture materials. Furthermore, mtBU has the lowest thickness at the repair side of the tendons. This approach showed tendon failure during maximal traction testing, whereas the mKE and mKR had polyethylene and polyester suture failures.
Conclusions: The UHMWPE suture was significantly superior to the other sutures in each suture techniques in terms of strength and durability. The mtBU technique using UHMWPE suture showed better biomechanical results, implying that this repair might be more appropriate to obtain early mobilization after tendon ruptures.
Background: Various techniques may be used to repair Achilles tendon ruptures; however, we contend that using the strongest suture with the least amount of suture material is ideal.
Methods: To compare the strength of 2-0 FiberLoop (Arthrex Inc, Naples, Florida) and #2 Ethibond (Ethicon Inc, Somerville, New Jersey) suture materials in Achilles tendon repairs, 12 Achilles tendons were harvested from cadavers aged 18 to 62 years (median age, 42 years). The tendons were transected and repaired using a modified Krackow suture technique. All of the right limbs were repaired with 2-0 FiberLoop, and the contralateral side was repaired with #2 Ethibond. The specimens were mounted to a materials testing system, and the repairs were pulled to failure in an anatomical direction.
Results: The mean ± SD yield loads of 2-0 FiberLoop and #2 Ethibond were 233 ± 48 N and 134 ± 34 N, respectively (P = .002). The mean ± SD ultimate load of 2-0 FiberLoop was 282 ± 58 N, and that of #2 Ethibond was 135 ± 33 N (P < .001). The cross-sectional area of one pass of 2-0 FiberLoop was calculated to be 0.21 mm2, and one pass of #2 Ethibond was 0.28 mm2.
Conclusions: The smaller-caliber 2-0 FiberLoop was significantly stronger than #2 Ethibond. This study suggests that there is no advantage to using the traditional larger suture material for Achilles tendon repairs; however, further clinical testing is needed to determine the optimal repair technique. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(3): 185–188, 2010)
The modified Brostrom procedure has been a proven procedure with excellent utility in the treatment of lateral ankle instability within limitation. Multiple variations of the original technique have been described in the literature to date. Included in these variations are differences in anchor placement, suture technique, or both. In this research study, we propose placing a bone screw anchor into the lateral shoulder of the talus rather than the typical placement at the lateral malleolus for anatomic reconstruction of the lateral ankle ligaments. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(6): 473–476, 2008)
Footdrop, or the inability to actively dorsiflex the foot, may result from numerous pathologic conditions, including poliomyelitis and cerebral palsy. Although the gait of patients with footdrop can be improved by performing an extensor hallucis longus (EHL) to tibialis anterior (TA) tendon transfer, the success rate of this procedure is relatively low.
Seven paralytic patients with footdrop were surgically treated using a new buttonhole-type technique that involves passing a loop of the EHL through a TA split using umbilical tape and suturing at the four corners of the EHL attaching to the TA while the foot is dorsiflexed.
Eight years after surgery, all three patients who were available for follow-up displayed active dorsiflexion, improved mobility, and a palpable TA-EHL tenodesis, with no cockup deformity.
This new approach, which we term Can Tho transfer, improves the mechanical strength of TA-EHL tenodesis.
A rare case of closed complete rupture of the flexor hallucis longus tendon with subsequent longitudinal tear of the flexor digitorum longus tendon is reported in a marathon runner. This is also a first case report of flexor hallucis longus transplant with cadaveric posterior tibial tendon allograft. Two minimal incisions distal and proximal to the malleolus allowed for tunneling with urethral dilators to open the tendon sheath for transplantation, avoiding the need for a large incision. Postoperatively, the patient regained active flexion at the interphalangeal joint of the left hallux. Four months after surgery, full range of motion was observed and dynamometric exam revealed 68% of the strength of the contralateral side. The patient was able to resume competitive running after the surgery and performed well in her age bracket.
The Percutaneous Surgical Approach for Repairing Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture
A Comprehensive Outcome Assessment
Background: Treatment modalities for acute Achilles tendon rupture can be divided into operative and nonoperative. The main concern with nonoperative treatment is the high incidence of repeated ruptures; operative treatment is associated with risk of infection, sural nerve injury, and wound-healing sequelae. We assessed our experience with a percutaneous operative approach for treating acute Achilles tendon rupture.
Methods: The outcomes of percutaneous surgery in 29 patients (25 men; age range, 24–58 years) who underwent percutaneous surgery for Achilles tendon rupture between 1997 and 2004 were retrospectively evaluated. Their demographic data, subjective and objective evaluation findings, and isokinetic evaluation results were retrieved, and they were assessed with the modified Boyden score and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle-Hindfoot Scale.
Results: All 29 patients demonstrated good functional outcome, with no- to mild-limitations in recreational activities and high patient satisfaction. Mean follow-up was 31.8 months. Changes in ankle range of motion in the operated leg were minimal. Strength and power testing revealed a significant difference at 90°/sec for plantarflexion power between the injured and healthy legs but no difference at 30° and 240°/sec or in dorsiflexion. The mean modified Boyden score was 74.3, and the mean Ankle-Hindfoot Scale score was 94.5.
Conclusions: Percutaneous surgery for Achilles tendon rupture is easily executed and has excellent functional results and low complication rates. It is an appealing alternative to either nonoperative or open surgery treatments. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 270–275, 2010)
The Treatment of Complex Motorcycle Spoke Injuries in Children
A Report of Four Cases and Literature Review
Motorcycle spoke injuries involving the soft tissue, Achilles tendon, and calcaneal defects are rare in children. Currently, calcaneal defects are very challenging to treat. Multiple methods have been used in clinical practice; however, an effective treatment has yet to be established, especially when Achilles tendon and soft-tissue defects are also present. It is important to address this condition, because the calcaneus plays a key role in standing and gait. Unsatisfactory treatment of calcaneal defects may significantly decrease patients' quality of life (eg, by limiting mobility). In this article, we report the effective treatment of calcaneal defects in four children using distraction osteogenesis with an external fixator framework designed by the authors. From May 2014 to May 2015, four children (age range, 6–11 years) with defects of the Achilles tendon, soft tissue, and calcaneus resulting from a motorcycle accident were treated at our hospital. The Achilles tendon and soft-tissue defects were treated with second-stage reconstruction. In the third-stage surgery, osteotomy of the residual calcaneus was performed. A customized external fixator was used to lengthen the calcaneus at a rate of 1.5 mm/day in the posterior direction and reposition it by 40° in the inferior direction. In all four children, the calcaneus was lengthened by 5 cm. Distraction osteogenesis through external fixation is effective for restoring the length, width, and height of the calcaneus in children.
A schwannoma is a solitary benign tumor composed of Schwann cells occurring anywhere in the peripheral nervous system. The diagnosis of a schwannoma is often difficult to make by clinical presentation and advanced imaging modalities. We present a case report of a 61-year-old Hispanic woman with a left-foot, third-digit, soft-tissue mass. The diagnosis of a schwannoma of the proper digital nerve was made postsurgically by means of histopathologic and immunohistochemistry parameters. This is a rare location for a schwannoma, and neurogenic tumor should be included in the differential diagnosis of soft-tissue mass, as there have been prior case reports.