Twenty normal, large-breed dogs underwent median sternotomy. Median sternotomies were closed with 20-gauge orthopedic wire in 10 dogs and no. 2 polybutester in 10 dogs. Closure with suture was faster than with wire (6.7±1.8 minutes versus 9.1±1.9 minutes, respectively). Significant differences were not observed in degree of postoperative pain or wound complication rates. Sternotomies closed with wire showed a trend to be more stable and had significantly less displacement on radiographic evaluation at 28 days. All sterna closed with wire examined histopathologically showed evidence of chondral or osteochondral bridging, while sterna closed with suture only showed fibrous union.

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