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 indicated that the Bionx B tack withstood the greatest mean ultimate parallel pullout strength at 292.04 Nand failed at a force significantly higher than all other tack types (p=.OOO). The Bionx A failed at 150.25 N, Suretac B at 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 at 468.47 N and failed at a force significantly higher than all other tack styles (p=.01). Suretac B failed at 354.02 N, Bionx A at 290.64 N, and Suretac A at 279.75 N. There was also a significant difference in mean ultimate perpendicular pullout strength between Suretac Band Suretac A (p = .000). The results indicate that Bionx B is the strongest tack in terms of pullout strength; however, failure modes 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 the individual patient.