Turkey model for flexor tendon research: in vitro comparison of human, canine, turkey, and chicken tendons.

Assaf Kadar, Andrew R. Thoreson, Ramona L. Reisdorf, Peter C. Amadio, Steven L. Moran, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Flexor tendon injuries are one of the most common hand injuries and remain clinically challenging for functional restoration. Canine and chicken have been the most commonly used animal models for flexor tendon–related research but possess several disadvantages. The purpose of this study was to explore a potential turkey model for flexor tendon research. Methods The third digit from human cadaveric hands, canine forepaws, turkey foot, and chicken foot were used for this study. Six digits in each of four species were studied in detail, comparing anatomy of the flexor apparatus, joint range of motioņ tendon excursion, tendon cross-sectional area, work of flexion, gliding resistance at the level of the A2 pulley, modulus of elasticity, suture retention strength, and histology across species. Results Anatomically, the third digit in the four species displayed structural similarities; however, the tendon cross-sectional area of the turkey and human were similar and larger than canine and chicken. Furthermore, the turkey digit resembles the human's finger with the lack of webbing between digits, similar vascularization, tendon excursion, work of flexion, gliding resistance, mechanical properties, and suture holding strength. More importantly, human and turkey tendons were most similar in histological appearance. Conclusions Turkey flexor tendons have many properties that are comparable to human flexor tendons which would provide a clinically relevant, economical, nonhuman companion large animal model for flexor tendon research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Canine model
  • Chicken model
  • Flexor tendon
  • Turkey model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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