We introduce a new approach for a continuous loop tendon-graft preparation, benchmarking it against established graft preparation techniques widely used in conjunction with non-adjustable interference screw fixation. A four-strand bovine tendon graft was prepared using the following graft preparation techniques: standard graft using the baseball stitch technique (M-tech group); continuous loop graft using the GraftLinkTM technique (Arthrex-tech group); continuous loop graft using the Kessler anastomosis technique (Kessler-tech group); and continuous loop graft using a Double-Z anastomosis technique (Double Z-tech group). Each group of eight specimens underwent cyclic loading followed by a load-to-failure test. The M-technique yielded a smaller graft diameter (8.4 ± 0.5 mm) compared to the statistically equivalent diameters of the three continuous loop techniques (8.9 ± 0.6 mm of Arthrex-tech group, 9.1 ± 0.4 mm of Kessler-tech group and 9.2 ± 0.6 mm of Double Z-Tech group). The continuous loop grafts formed by the Double Z-Technique showed outstanding performance among the tested techniques in terms of ultimate failure load (982 ± 121 N) and cyclic elongation (3.7 ± 1.0 mm). There was no significant difference between the four groups in cyclic stiffness. Of the assessed techniques, the Arthrex technique resulted in the lowest ultimate elongation (2.0 ± 0.7 mm), followed by the Double Z-tech (4.5 ± 1.8 mm), the M-tech (5.2 ± 3.9 mm), and the Kessler-tech (5.3 ± 2.4 mm). The Arthrex-tech group (5.98 ± 0.38 min) displayed the shortest graft preparation time, followed by the M-Tech (7.94 ± 0.58 min), Kessler-tech (9.03 ± 0.39 min) and Double Z-Tech (13.29 ± 1.14 min). Double Z-Tech can improve the construct of continuous loop tendon graft with regard to mechanical performance.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no competing interests.
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- 81772346/National Natural Science Foundation of China (National Science Foundation of China)
- 2017M613151/Postdoctoral Research Foundation of China (China Postdoctoral Research Foundation)
- 2017BSHYDZZ41/Shaanxi Province Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Shaanxi Province Post-Doctoral Science Foundation)