A novel suture anchor installation tool which comprises an elongated member having a first end and a second end and a slot extending from the first end towards the second end, the slot being sized to snugly accommodate the suture anchor's barb, whereby the suture anchor may be attached to the elongated member at the first end of the elongated member by fitting the barb into the slot so that the barb extends upward and outward from the first end of the elongated member, through the slot, with the body of the suture anchor engaging the first end of the installation tool.
In use, the suture is first attached to the suture anchor and then the suture anchor is attached to the elongated member in the foregoing manner. Then the first end of the elongated member is pressed into a predrilled hole in the bone, forcing the suture anchor in ahead of it. As the suture anchor is pressed into the bone, its barb engages the side wall of the bone and is forced to retract backwards into the elongated member's slot so that it extends somewhat parallel to the elongated member. When the suture anchor bottoms out in the bone hole, and the elongated member is thereafter withdrawn, the barb's engagement with the bone wall will cause the suture anchor to separate from the elongated member, leaving the suture anchor (and its attached suture) anchored securely in the bone.