Veterinary Ligature

Cruciate ligament problems are much more prevalent in dogs than people and very costly too - 1 billion US$ is spent a year on dogs in USA with this orthopaedic condition.

Rob's son Adrian (an orthopaedic veterinary surgeon) investigated different suture patterns for cruciate ligament repair in dogs while at Cambridge University, UK, and came up with a superior method, confirmed by comparative testing carried out in the university engineering labs.

The research was reported in an award-winning paper presented at veterinary conferences in the UK and USA, see abstract below.

Rob provided minor assistance, just practical advice on based on engineering principles plus experience with knots and wire tying, fishing knots in particular.

Below are the different configurations tested:

A biomechanical comparison of six different double loop configurations for use in the lateral fabella suture technique

A M Wallace 1, E D Cutting, M P F Sutcliffe, S J Langley-Hobbs

DOI: 10.3415/vcot-07-10-0095


Six different double loop configurations which could be applied to the lateral fabella suture (LFS) technique were subjected to in vitro mechanical testing. Three double loop, single strand and three double loop, double strand configurations were tested. The strongest configuration, with a significantly higher mean ultimate load and load at yield, was the interlocking loop configuration. This is a novel configuration which has not previously been reported. The three double loop, single strand configurations all had higher mean ultimate loads than the double loop, double strand configurations. The double strand group with uneven loop length performed very poorly, with significantly lower mean stiffness and ultimate load than all of the single strand groups. This group also developed unacceptably high levels of elongation during high level cyclic loading.