The anterior cruciate ligament, better known as the ACL, is one of the four ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia. It’s also one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee, especially among athletes.
Unlike many other ligaments in the body, the ACL does not have the ability to heal on its own. A thick liquid – called synovial fluid – reduces friction between the bones when you move your knee. As important as this fluid is for proper knee function, it also prevents the formation of blood clots that are critical for healing. As a result, ACL tears are often treated with surgery. The first innovation in ACL surgery in several decades is bridge-enhanced ACL restoration with the BEAR® Implant.
What is the BEAR Implant?
The BEAR Implant is the first medical advancement to enable your body to heal its own torn ACL. The implant is made of collagen and is resorbed by your body within eight weeks of surgery.
How does the BEAR Implant work?
The BEAR Implant works with your own blood to heal the torn ends of your ACL back together. During the procedure, the ACL surgeon adds your own blood to the BEAR Implant and inserts it between the torn ends of your ACL. The implant holds and protects the blood to allow the formation of a clot. Over the next eight weeks, the BEAR Implant is resorbed by your body and replaced with native ACL tissue.
How is the BEAR Implant different from ACL reconstruction?
ACL tears are often treated with surgery called ACL reconstruction, also known as ACL replacement surgery. During ACL reconstruction, an orthopedic surgeon removes the torn ACL and replaces it with a graft from another part of the body (called an autograft) or a deceased donor (called an allograft).
Although ACL reconstruction is effective, the procedure has drawbacks. When a graft is taken from the knee, many patients experience long-term knee pain. And when a graft is taken from the hamstring, patients may have persistent weakness in that muscle. Regardless of the type of graft, many people are unable to return to the same level of daily activities or sports.
What are the benefits of the BEAR Implant?
Benefits of the BEAR Implant include:
- Helps your own ACL heal
- Retains normal anatomy and function of the knee
- Simple outpatient procedure
- Does not require a second surgical wound site to remove a healthy tendon from another part of your body or use of a deceased donor’s tendon
- Faster recovery of muscle strength
- Higher patient satisfaction with being ready to return to sports
What is the recovery time for the BEAR Implant?
The rehabilitation protocol for the BEAR Implant is different from ACL reconstruction, but overall recovery time is similar. Return to high levels of activity and sports is usually around nine months after surgery, which is similar to ACL reconstruction.
Can anyone get the BEAR Implant?
You may be a candidate for the BEAR Implant if you meet these criteria:
- Are at least 14 years old and skeletally mature
- Have a complete rupture of the ACL confirmed by MRI
- Can undergo surgery within 50 days of tearing the ACL
Do all orthopedic surgeons offer the BEAR Implant?
The BEAR Implant is available in select cities across the U.S., with more cities coming soon. Find a surgeon who offers the BEAR Implant or discuss the option with your orthopedic surgeon.
The BEAR Implant from Miach Orthopaedics was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2020. It is indicated for skeletally mature patients at least 14 years of age with a complete rupture of the ACL confirmed by MRI. Patients must have an ACL stump attached to the tibia to facilitate the restoration. The BEAR device must be implanted within 50 days of injury.
Visit www.miachortho.com for complete product information, including Instructions for Use.
ML-1049 Rev A 06/2022