Objective— To evaluate the mechanical properties of canine median sternotomy closure using double-loop cerclage compared with other commonly used cerclage sternotomy closure patterns.
Study Design— Experimental study.
Sample Population— Forty canine cadaveric sternal segments.
Methods— Median sternotomy-wire constructs were loaded to failure in a materials testing machine. Each construct was radiographed before and after testing. Specific wire configurations tested were: 2 single twist cerclage centered on the sternebrae, single twist figure of 8 pattern centered on the sternal synchondrosis, double twist figure of 8 pattern centered on the sternal synchondrosis, 2 double-loop cerclage centered on the sternebrae, and 1 double-loop cerclage centered on the sternal synchondrosis. Wire configurations were compared by craniocaudal translation of sternabrae on pre-test radiographs, and displacement during loading, and mode of failure, based on analysis of test video, and post-test radiographs.
Results— Double-loop cerclage did not provide superior mechanical stabilization of median sternotomy. Both figure of 8 patterns had the least displacement at higher loads. Two single twists that were centered on sternebrae were least able to prevent displacement at higher loads, caused the most craniocaudal translation before testing, and fractured more often at loads ≤200 N compared with other configurations.
Conclusion— Sternal wiring techniques stabilizing sternal synchondroses had the least displacement. Overall, figure of 8 cerclage appeared most suitable because they minimized displacement at high loads and facilitated accurate reduction during tensioning.
Clinical Relevance— In closing canine sternotomy, figure of 8 cerclage may be most suitable. Double-loop cerclage centered on the sternal synchondrosis should be avoided because of wire failure at high loads.