Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder News

No Holes Barred with New Anchor for Shoulder Surgery

Rotator cuff (RC) tears are very common in adults of all ages. Many RC tears are repaired arthroscopically using suture anchors to reattach the tendon to the bone. These anchors can be made of many different materials such as metal, plastic, and bone.

In this study Dr. Bonutti used a new suture anchor he designed himself to repair 63 torn RCs. The new anchor is made of allograft material, which means it's made of bone taken from a donor. It is machine-shaped with a straight bottom and pointed top. The sharp tip makes it possible to insert into the shoulder bone without drilling a tiny hole first.

Once in place the anchors stayed in place. They seemed to become part of the host bone, but didn't replace it. Over time the anchor was no longer visible on X-ray. The researchers tested it on cadavers first before using it in live humans. In this way they could find out how much load the anchors could take before breaking.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the anchors. Using this type of suture eliminates the need to drill a hole in the shoulder bone first before reattaching the tendon. When the bone is too thick a small pilot hole can be made first using a surgical awl. The direct insertion method is safe and effective and saves time in the operating room.

Peter M. Bonutti, MD, and Matthew Cremens, MS: Use of Direct Introduction of Allograft Anchors for Rotator Cuff Repair. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. February 2005. Vol. 34. No. 2. Pp. 97-99.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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