Bridge Enhanced ACL Restoration (BEAR Implant)
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is crucial for stabilizing the knee joint. Located in the inner knee area, the ACL connects the tibia (shinbone) and femur (thighbone) along with other ligaments that crisscross the knee joint. ACL tears are one of the most common serious knee injuries, affecting up to 200,000 people in the U.S. each year. One of the newest options for repairing torn ACLs is the bridge enhanced ACL restoration (BEAR implant), which is available through Jonathan L. Glashow, MD at his practice in Miami, FL.
In the past, the only option for repairing a torn ACL was reconstruction surgery. While very effective, ACL reconstruction requires the use of grafting material for reconstruction. Tendon tissue is usually harvested from the patient, requiring multiple surgeries to perform the procedure. ACL reconstruction is still used in many cases, but the BEAR implant offers a less invasive option with quicker recovery.
What Is a BEAR Implant?
In 2020, the FDA approved the BEAR implant for ACL repairs. This is a small device that is made from bovine collagen that is used to reconnect the torn ACL fibers. The implant is 45 mm long, and it is sutured to the torn ends of the ACL, bridging the gap at the place of the tear. Once the BEAR implant is in place, blood from the patient is injected into the implant. This causes a blood clot that triggers the healing process.
Over the following weeks, the body begins repairing the tissue around the BEAR implant. New native cells, collagen, blood vessels and other natural tissue are formed to create a new ACL. The BEAR implant is resorbed in about eight weeks, replaced by the newly formed tissue.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a BEAR Implant?
BEAR implants offer the benefits of a less invasive procedure combined with a quicker recovery. However, not everyone with an ACL tear will qualify for this procedure. Some of the qualifying factors include:
- Patient must be 14 years of age or older
- The ACL tear occurred within the last 50 days
- The ACL is completely ruptured, confirmed by MRI
- There is an ACL stump on the tibia
Dr. Glashow is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country. He has successfully used this new technique to repair ACL tears for his patients. If you have an ACL tear and want to explore your repair options, contact the office of Jonathan L. Glashow, MD in Miami, FL, to schedule a consultation.