All-Suture Anchor Repair of the Flexor Digitorum Profundus Insertion: A Biomechanical Comparison of 2 Suturing Techniques

Christopher M. Belyea, Pooyan Abbasi, Kavya K. Sanghavi, Aviram M. Giladi, Kenneth R. Means

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We compared 2 suturing techniques for reattachment of the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) via all-suture anchor. Methods: We used fresh, matched-pair, cadaveric hands. We disarticulated the fingers at the proximal interphalangeal joints, preserving the proximal FDP. We released the FDPs at their distal insertion and placed an all-suture, 1.0-mm anchor at the center of each FDP footprint. Each anchor's sutures were used to reattach each FDP using 1 of 2 techniques: group H (n = 14) via horizontal mattress; group H + K (n = 12) via horizontal mattress with knots thrown and, with each suture tail, 3 proximal, running-locking, Krackow-type passes on the radial and ulnar FDP sides with the suture ends tied together. We excluded 2 specimens from the H + K group because of improper anchor placement. All other fingers in both groups were individually mounted in an MTS machine for FDP loading in the following sequence for 500 cycles each: (1) to 15 N to simulate passive motion forces; (2) to 19 N for short-arc active motion forces; and (3) to 28 N for full active motion forces. Specimens that had not failed during cyclic testing were then loaded to failure. We measured FDP-to-bone gapping via a digital transducer. We defined failure as >3-mm gapping. Results: The H + K group had significantly less gapping during cyclic loading up to 19 N and significantly higher load to failure. The H + K group failed exclusively at the anchor-bone level; the H group failed mostly by suture-tendon pullout. Conclusions: The H + K group performed significantly better regarding cyclic and load-to-failure testing after FDP reattachment. Clinical relevance: The H + K technique combines the benefits of horizontal-mattress tendon-to-bone apposition and Krackow-tendon locking. It converts the point of failure to the bone level rather than the suture-tendon level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • All-suture anchor
  • flexor digitorum profundus
  • jersey finger
  • Krackow
  • tendon avulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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