Cyclic loading of rotator cuff repairs: A comparison of bioabsorbable tacks with metal suture anchors and transosseous

Vipool K. Goradia, Daniel J. Mullen, Henry R. Boucher, Brent G. Parks, John B. O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purposes of the study were (1) to compare rotator cuff repair strengths after cyclic loading of 2 bioabsorbable nonsuture-based tack-type anchors, transosseous sutures, and a metal suture-based anchor, and (2) to correlate bone mineral density with mode of failure and cycles to failure. We hypothesized that specimens with a lower bone density would fail through bone at a lower number of cycles independent of the method of cuff fixation. Type of Study: Ex vivo biomechanical study. Methods: Standardized full-thickness rotator cuff defects were created in 30 fresh-frozen cadaveric shoulders that were randomized to 1 of 4 repair groups: transosseous sutures; Mitek Super suture anchors (Mitek Surgical Products, Westwood, MA); smooth bioabsorbable 8-mm Suretacs (Acufex, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy, Mansfield, MA); or spiked bioabsorbable 8-mm Suretacs (Acufex). All repairs were cyclically loaded from 10 to 180 N; the numbers of cycles to 50% (gap, 5 mm) and 100% (gap, 10 mm) failure were recorded. Results: In comparing the repair groups, we found only 1 significant difference: the number of cycles to 100% failure was significantly higher (P < .05) for the smooth bioabsorbable tack than for the transosseous suture group. There were no statistically significant (P ≤ .05) differences in bone mineral densities with regard to each specimen's mode of failure. Conclusions: Our results suggested that immediate postoperative fixation provided by bioabsorbable tacks was similar to that provided by Mitek anchors and more stable than that provided by transosseous sutures. Therefore, the immediate postoperative biomechanical strength of bioabsorbable tacks seems comparatively adequate for fixation of selected small rotator cuff tears. However, additional evaluation in an animal model to examine degradation characteristics and sustained strength of repair is recommended before clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2001


  • Absorbable anchors
  • Bone density.
  • Cadaveric model
  • Cyclic loading
  • Metal anchors
  • Rotator cuff tears

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cyclic loading of rotator cuff repairs: A comparison of bioabsorbable tacks with metal suture anchors and transosseous'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this