ACL Repair with BEAR Implant
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Repair with BEAR Implant
Historically, the standard of care for an ACL tear was ACL reconstruction. ACL reconstruction involves the removal and replacement of a torn ligament with a tendon graft from the kneecap, hamstring tendons or quadriceps tendon.
Now, there is a viable less invasive alternative treatment option to an ACL reconstruction. The Bridge-enhanced ACL restoration (BEAR) implant, FDA approved in December 2020, is the first technology that enables the body to heal a torn ACL. It is intended to serve as an alternative to ACL reconstruction with a graft. The BEAR implant serves as a bridge between the torn pieces of the ligament.
The BEAR Implant is a resorbable implant—meaning it is absorbed by the body. It is made from collagen, a protein found in connective tissue, that is soaked in the patient’s blood and is secured via sutures to bridge the gap between the torn ends of a patient’s ACL. The goal is to provide a stable bridge that enables the body’s own healing process. The BEAR procedure is performed arthroscopically which is much less invasive than reconstruction and provides long-lasting results.
A small amount of the patient’s own blood is withdrawn and is injected into the implant during the surgical implantation procedure. The blood forms a clot which is full of wound-healing growth factors and proteins that stimulate the cells to grow into the implant. Within about eight weeks of the BEAR Implant surgical procedure, it is absorbed and replaced by the body’s own tissue.
The BEAR implant is indicated for skeletally mature patients at least 14 years of age with a complete rupture of the ACL, as confirmed by MRI, when there is a substantial stump or remnant of the ligament attached at the insertion on the tibia. The procedure is ideally performed within 50 days after the tear occurs, but exceptions do exist.
- Helps the body repair the torn ACL
- Restores ACL quality
- The procedure is less invasive and less complex than ACL reconstruction
- Eliminates the need for grafts
- Quicker recovery of muscle strength
- Higher patient satisfaction
- Arthroscopic outpatient procedure
- Decreased risk of contralateral (opposite) leg ACL tear compared to reconstruction
- Studies report that arthroscopic ACL repair with the BEAR implant showed similar outcomes and functional performance when compared to an autograft ACL reconstruction.
- Psychological factors have significant effects on an athlete’s readiness to return to sport after an ACL reconstruction. Psychological factors include lack of confidence, fear of reinjury, loss of self-esteem, and poor control. Patients who underwent the BEAR procedure had higher psychological readiness at six-months after surgery and were ready to be medically cleared earlier for return to sports. These patients also had lower pain scores, better hamstring and quadriceps strength and lower knee laxity.
- The BEAR ACL repair is a paradigm shifting technology to heal a subset of ACL tears. It is the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in 30 years.
- ACL repair with BEAR yields a high quality of life.
- The BEAR process promotes healing of the torn ACL where healing doesn’t otherwise occur.
- Patients undergoing the BEAR procedure had earlier resolution of symptoms and increased satisfaction with knee function, and improved hamstring muscle strength.
Dr. Ronak Patel is pleased to offer this state-of-the- art BEAR procedure to his patients.
Dr. Ronak M. Patel is a double board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician. He completed his bachelor’s degree, medical degree, and residency training at Northwestern University. He, then completed his fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic. He specializes in the treatment of complex knee, shoulder and elbow injuries and degenerative conditions. Contact him to schedule a consultation to learn more about how he can help you return to the life you love and the activities that make life worth living. He serves teens and adults in Chicagoland and NW Indiana.
At a Glance
Ronak M. Patel M.D.
- Double Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Past Team Physician to the Cavaliers (NBA), Browns (NFL) and Guardians (MLB)
- Published over 49 publications and 10 book chapters
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