Suture anchor-based repair has been advocated for repair of distal triceps avulsion, but previous models have used an unequal number of sutures across the repair site. We hypothesized that there would be no difference in triceps tendon displacement between gold standard repair with transosseous cruciate bone tunnels and suture anchor repair with an equal number of sutures in the constructs.

The triceps tendon footprint was measured in 20 cadaveric elbows (10 matched pairs), and a distal triceps tendon rupture was created. The specimens in each pair were randomly assigned to transosseous cruciate repair or knotless, double-row, anatomic footprint, suture anchor repair. Specimens underwent cyclic loading to 1500 cycles and then load to failure. Footprint uncoverage was measured at 1500 cycles. Data for medial and lateral triceps tendon displacement, footprint uncoverage, and failure load were obtained.

Triceps displacement did not differ significantly between the transosseous cruciate and the suture anchor repair group at 1500 cycles on the medial (3.6 ±  0.9 mm vs. 4.3 ± 1.6 mm [mean ± standard deviation], respectively; P = .27) and lateral side (3.1 ± 1.2 mm vs. 2.0 ± 1.2 mm, respectively; P = .06). No other differences were found between the constructs.

Transosseous cruciate distal triceps repair and knotless double-row suture anchor repair using constructs with an equal number of sutures showed no significant difference in tendon displacement at 1500 loading cycles. These findings suggest that the biomechanical strength of an all-suture construct is not different from that of suture anchors for repair of distal triceps avulsions.

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