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Absorbable sutures behave favourably in vitro and in an animal model. We report the outcome of flexor tendon injuries in a series of 272 consecutive patients treated over 45 months with a mean follow-up of 4 (range 3-12) months. Five hundred and seventy-six tendons were repaired in 416 digits. The patients were not randomised and all repairs were performed using a Strickland four-strand core technique. In 191 (73%) patients an absorbable core suture was used (Group 1) and in 81 (27%) a non-absorbable material was used (Group 2). There were six ruptures (2%) in Group 1 and two (2%) in Group 2. Using the original Strickland criteria, there were 72% excellent/good and 28% fair/poor results in the absorbable core suture group, and 73% and 27%, respectively, in the non-absorbable core suture group. This study suggests that appropriate absorbable core sutures can be used safely for flexor tendon repair.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of hand surgery, European volume

Publication Date





412 - 417


Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London.


Humans, Finger Injuries, Tendon Injuries, Polymers, Range of Motion, Articular, Treatment Outcome, Retrospective Studies, Cohort Studies, Absorbable Implants, Sutures, Recovery of Function, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult