IN CONSIDERING the various aspects of tendon surgery, numerous unique procedures have been formulated in recent years to affect successful tendon repair or reconstruction following hand trauma. Advances such as new tendon grafting techniques,1-4 utilization of silicone rods or partial-function tendon replacement,5 and application of silicone rubber (Silastic) tendon underlays or pulleys6,7 have led to improved hand salvage or function in selected cases. However, there appears to be no satisfactory solution for the complete and extensive loss of tendon as frequently noted with instances of soft tissue avulsion, severe infection, electrical burn, and surgical resection. Thus, because of the generally improved prognosis in cases with limited hand injury or incapacitation, it would seem that the most urgent problem in this area presently would be the perfection of a highly functional tendon prosthesis.
Methods and Materials
Because of our previous successful laboratory and clinical experiences with silicone rubber