This invention relates to a orthopedic implant that comprises a shape memory polymeric material. The orthopedic implant can be fabricated or molded in a desired configuration selected to provide support or tension to bony structures. Examples of implantable devices include spinal rods, bone plates, and bone fixation cords. The orthopedic implant can be deformed to a second configuration different from the first configuration either prior to implantation or after implantation. When desired, the shape memory polymeric material can be induced to revert to it original molded configuration. This can compress the attached bony structure and/or promote arthrodesis.