iOrtho was the first on Staten Island to perform the BEAR® Implant for treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, one of the most common knee injuries in the U.S. The BEAR Implant is the first medical advancement to enable the body to heal its own torn ACL. This new approach is a paradigm shift from the current standard of care – reconstruction that replaces the ACL with a graft – and is the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in more than 30 years.
Every year, approximately 400,000 ACL injuries occur in the U.S.A torn ACL does not heal without treatment, resulting in ACL reconstruction being one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the U.S. Yet the procedure has drawbacks; some procedures require two separate incisions, and some people who undergo reconstruction are unable to return to the same level of daily activities or sports.
“There are several advantages to restoring a ligament naturally by creating an environment for healing instead of removing it and replacing it with a graft. The BEAR Implant is an exciting medical technology that is the first to clinically demonstrate that it enables healing of the patient’s town ACL while maintaining the natural knee anatomy,” said Gregory Montalbano MD, the orthopedic surgeon that performed the procedure.
During an ACL reconstruction, the surgeon completely removes the remaining torn ACL and reconstructs it with either a tendon from the patient’s own leg (called an autograft) or a deceased donor (called an allograft). This has traditionally been the only available option to restore stability to the knee although the procedure has its drawbacks. For instance, in some clinical reports up to 20% of patients who receive patellar tendon grafts experience chronic anterior knee pain. In other studies, up to 60% of knees will experience symptomatic arthritis within 10 years from the surgery.
Unlike reconstruction, the BEAR Implant restores the integrity of the natural ligament by supporting a healing process. The BEAR Implant acts as a bridge to help ends of the torn ACL heal together. The surgeon injects a small amount of the patient’s own blood into the implant and inserts it between the torn ends of the ACL in a minimally invasive procedure. The combination of the BEAR Implant and the patient’s blood enables the body to heal the torn ends of the ACL back together while maintaining the ACL’s original attachments to the femur and tibia. As the ACL heals, the BEAR Implant is resorbed by the body, within approximately eight weeks.
The BEAR Implant was granted De Novo Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is indicated for skeletally mature patients at least 14 years of age with a complete rupture of the ACL, as confirmed by MRI. Patients must have an ACL stump attached to the tibia to facilitate the restoration. Patients should discuss their individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment with their surgeon. The BEAR Implant carries with it some of the same potential medical/surgical complications as other ACL orthopedic surgical procedures including the risk of failure, re-tear, limited range of motion etc.
iOrtho is a multi-specialty musculoskeletal healthcare practice that provides patients with new technologies and innovative procedures designed to make state-of-the-art treatments readily available while maximizing outcomes. For people with active lifestyles and/or physical job requirements, iOrtho is the comprehensive single-source solution for all orthopedic needs; trauma, arthritis, sports, spine- minimally invasive procedures, computer navigated robotic procedures, custom implants, restorative treatments including hyaluronate acid, plasma, stem cell and vitamin infusion therapy. iOrtho surgeons are affiliated with NYU Langone Health. Learn more online at iorthomd.com