Bridge-Enhanced ACL Repair Surgery
Bridge-Enhanced ACL Repair Surgery or B.E.A.R. is a newer surgical procedure where the patients’ torn anterior cruciate ligament is attached to their femur bone. The technique is possible in about 30% of acl injuries, when the ligament tears away from it’s normal attachment to the femur. Dr. Goradia has been performing ACL reconstructions since 1999 and primary ACL repairs since 2014. He is one of a handful of surgeons in the U.S. offering this procedure. Patients have travelled from across the U.S. to have Dr. Goradia perform the B.E.A.R. surgery.
Potential Advantages of Bridge-Enhanced ACL Repair Surgery
- Avoids need to harvest a graft and replace the ACL
- Less Invasive than traditional ACL Reconstruction
- Faster recovery
- A more natural feeling knee
What is the “Bridge”?
We insert amniotic tissue to act as a bridge or a sponge between the acl and the femur bone. This type of tissue has been used in various surgical procedures since the 1940’s. It contains natural growth factors that promote healing. In this case it will help the torn acl attach to the femur.
Bridge-Enhanced ACL Repair: The BEAR Technique with Amnion Sponge
The Surgical Procedure
The Bridge-Enhanced ACL Repair Surgery is performed arthroscopically on an outpatient basis. Prior to the operation, an anesthesiologist will provide a nerve block which will significantly reduce pain after the surgery. During surgery, high strength sutures are placed in the acl and a small 3-4mm drill hole is created where the acl normally attaches to the femur. The sutures are inserted through this hole and the “bridge” or “sponge” tissue is placed between the acl and the bone. In addition a collagen coated suture tape is placed along the acl to act as an internal brace. The tape will function as an acl while the actual acl is healing. In other words the tape helps shield stress from the acl during the healing process.
Recovery After B.E.A.R.
- Immediate weight bearing with a brace
- Immediate range of motion to prevent stiffness
- KneeHab is often prescribed to help with quadriceps contraction
- Physical Therapy begins within 1 week
- The rehabilitation protocol is identical to the one we use for acl reconstructions
Are you a Candidate for B.E.A.R.?
Your knee MRI needs to be reviewed by Dr. Goradia to determine if the acl is torn mid-substance or from it’s attachment on the femur. Local patients should schedule an appointment to see Dr. Goradia so he can review the MRI and discuss options. Out of town patients may mail their MRI disk or email DICOM folder from their MRI disk. Patients will be sent an information packet and a phone call will be scheduled with Dr. Goradia to answer any questions. The surgery will be scheduled and patients will need to arrive one day prior to surgery for a consultation with Dr. Goradia.
A. Scott, 18 year old Athlete
Already performing agility training just 10 weeks after B.E.A.R. Surgery
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