Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Susan H.N. Jeno


Absorbable Implants; Bone Nails; Bone Screws


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pullout strength, both parallel and perpendicular to that tack shaft, of four different bioabsorbable tacks: Suretac A, Suretac B, Bionx A and Bionx B. These tacks were fixated into a foam block and tension was placed on each tack until point of failure between the tack-foam interface. Results were analyzed via the one-way ANOYA and Scheffe's test was used for post hoc analysis. Results indicated that the Bionx B tack withstood the greatest mean ultimate parallel pullout strength with a mean of 292.04 N and failed at a force significantly higher than all other tack types (p = .000). The Bionx A failed at 150.25 N, Suretac Bat 147.64 N and Suretac A at 79.19 N. Suretac A failed at a force significantly lower than all other tack types (p = .01). Results indicated that Bionx B withstood the greatest ultimate perpendicular pullout strength with a mean of 468.47 N and failed at a force significantly higher than all other tack types (p = .01). Suretac B failed at 354.02 N, Bionx A at 290.64 Nand Suretac A at 279.75 N. The results indicate that Bionx B is the strongest tack in terms of pullout strength. Failure modes of each tack type were also assessed with the result of tack shaft breakage of the Bionx tacks and shaft bending of the Suretac designs.

The results of this study indicated that bioabsorbable tacks have qualities similar to other surgical fixation devices being used for surgical repair of the supraspinatus tendon. It is crucial that the physical therapist have an appropriate amount of knowledge regarding surgical procedures when working with patients with rotator cuff repairs. This knowledge will assist the therapist in designing an appropriate rehabilitation program following the surgeon's guidelines or protocol and based on the needs of each individual patient.