Dr. Jeremy Burnham and the surgical team at Ochsner Sports Medicine Institute performed the first ACL repair surgery with the BEAR Implant in the Baton Rouge area, and the second in the state of Louisiana. This new ACL surgery technique represents an ever-increasing array of options for treating ACL injuries.
About ACL Injuries
The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is an important ligament in the knee that controls front-to-back and rotational stability. It is commonly injured and it has been estimated that up to 400,000 ACL reconstructions are performed each year. Traditional ACL reconstruction surgery has improved significantly, but still requires removing most of the torn ligament and replacing it with new tissue. ACL repair techniques allow preservation of the torn ligament. Multiple ACL repair surgical techniques have been performed in the past, although success rates were variable. The intra-articular environment inside of the knee is not favorable for ligament healing.
ACL Repair Surgery using the BEAR Implant
The BEAR Implant was designed by Dr. Martha Murray at Boston Children’s, and recently received FDA approval. It has a collagen matrix that is attached to the torn ACL and filled with the patient’s own blood and healing factors. This implant encourages the torn ACL to heal itself. This technique is not the best option for all patients with torn ACLs, and ACL reconstruction remains the gold standard. However, it demonstrates significant potential and represents one of many new “orthobiologic” options that will continue to push the care of musculoskeletal injuries forward.