Various techniques have been attempted for preventing postoperative flexor tendon adhesion, such as modification of suture technique, pharmacological agents, and mechanical barriers. However, there is no evidence of the efficacy of these methods in clinical settings. In this study, we present the long-term outcomes of a randomized prospective study in which acellular dermal matrix (ADM) was used to prevent postoperative adhesions after tendon injury in the hand.

From January 2017 to January 2020, all patients with an acute single flexor tendon injury in hand Zones III, IV, or V were candidates. A single-digit, total tendon rupture repaired within 48 hours, from the index finger to the little finger, was included in the study. Patients were randomly allocated to either a control or ADM group. Complications and the range of movements were recorded. Functional outcomes and a patient satisfaction questionnaire were evaluated after 12 months following the tendon repair surgery. The present study is adhered to the CONSORT guidelines.

A total of 25 patients was enrolled in the study: 13 patients in the ADM group and 12 in the control group. According to Buck-Gramcko II criteria, the postoperative functional outcome score was 14.38 ± 1.71 in the ADM group and 13.08 ± 1.82 in the control group (P value = .0485). Patient satisfaction was recorded at 8.38 ± 1.44 in the ADM group and 7.08 ± 1.58 in the control group (P value = .0309), a significant difference. There were no differences in complications between the 2 groups.

The beneficial effects of ADM after tendon repair were confirmed by improved postoperative functional outcome at flexor Zones III, IV, and V, preventing peritendinous adhesions and acting effectively as an anti-adhesive barrier.

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