Many of the implants we use in orthopedic surgery are made of metal. For some surgeries, we can use “bioabsorbable” screws and anchors. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer the question of a reader who wonders what happens after the absorbable screws dissolve.

Jamie asks:
I read that some screws used as anchors in tenodesis of the biceps tendon are dissolved and absorbed by the body. If this is the case, what keeps the biceps tendon attached to the bone after it dissolves? New bone? Scar tissue?

For many orthopedic surgeries, absorbable screws and other implants are available. A proximal biceps surgery where the surgeon attaches the tendon to bone at the top of the humerus usually involves one of these bioabsorbable screws. The surgeon drills a tunnel into the bone, and the screw holds the tendon within the tunnel, preventing the tendon from pulling out. Over time, the screw turns into bone, keeping the tendon attached in that location.

Tibial plateau fracture with metal plate and screws

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Should you have hardware removed after your ankle fracture heals?
Ask Dr. Geier: Healing of tibial stress fractures

Recommended Products and Resources
Click here to go to Dr. David Geier’s Amazon Influencer store!
Due to a large number of questions I have received over the years asking about products for health, injuries, performance, and other areas of sports, exercise, work and life, I have created an Amazon Influencer page. While this information and these products are not intended to treat any specific injury or illness you have, they are products I use personally, have used or have tried, or I have recommended to others. THE SITE MAY OFFER HEALTH, FITNESS, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER SUCH INFORMATION, BUT SUCH INFORMATION IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT DOES NOT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY MEDICAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. THE SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTIONS OR INACTION ON A USER’S PART BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT IS PRESENTED ON THE SITE. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.