A Survey of Zone II Flexor Tendon Repair Techniques and Rehabilitation Protocols Preferred by Malaysian Orthopaedic Practitioners
Introduction: Flexor tendon repair is challenging mainly due to the need to balance between a strong repair technique, ease of tendon gliding and early mobilisation to prevent adhesions while preventing tendon rupture. While different countries have different preferences in repair techniques, core sutures and suture types, there is still no study in Malaysia regarding our preference and whether we are following the current evidence.
Materials and methods: We performed a survey with a standard questionnaire distributed during our annual national orthopaedic meeting in 2019. The standard questionnaire consisted of 24-objective multiple-choice questions concerning the treatment of flexor tendon injury were distributed with consent. A total of 290 questionnaires that were filled out correctly were included in this study.
Results: The majority of respondents preferred the Modified Kessler technique (n=96, 33.1%) followed by the Adelaide technique (n=81, 27.9%) and Double Modified Kessler (n=45, 15.5%). However, for the number of core strands in the repair, the majority utilised the 4-strand (n=203, 70%), followed by 2-strand (n=34, 11.7%) and 6-strand (n=21, 7.2%). The majority utilised Prolene sutures (n=259, 89.3%) with a suture size of 4/0 (n=157, 54.1%). For rehabilitation, 56.9% (n=165) preferred early passive motion, 27.6% (n=80) early active motion and 14.8% (n=43) would strictly immobilise.
Conclusion: There is still no consensus as to the best technique; however, the aim of tendon repairs is still the same around the world. It would be helpful to know our preferences to improve our current practice and outcomes following these common flexor tendon injuries in hand.
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