EvergreenHealth performs new ACL procedure that lets body heal on its own

Two EvergreenHealth orthopedic surgeons are the first physicians in Washington state to perform anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair surgery using a new implant that allows the body to heal its own torn ACL, EvergreenHealth said in a media release on Monday.

EvergreenHealth is one of ten sites in the U.S. participating in a study that uses the Bridge Enhanced ACL Restoration (BEAR) implant.

The new implant eliminates the need to use a healthy tendon from another part of a patient or donor’s body to replace the torn ligament.

Camille Clinton, MD, and John Manning, MD, with EvergreenHealth Orthopedics & Sports, performed the procedure using the BEAR implant, which offered the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in more than 30 years.

Unlike typical ACL reconstruction, the BEAR Implant doesn’t require a second surgical wound site and instead acts as a bridge between the two ends of the torn ligament. As the ACL heals, the body absorbs the BEAR Implant within around eight weeks, enabling the torn ACL to repair itself.

“What is exciting about this clinical trial is that it demonstrates how innovative medical technology can promote the healing of the patient’s torn ACL while maintaining the natural knee anatomy,” said Clinton.

Every year, around 400,000 ACL injuries happen in the U.S., making it one of the most common knee injuries, according to EvergreenHealth.

“Early clinical studies with the BEAR Implant have shown the potential for faster recovery of muscle strength and encouraging findings regarding patient satisfaction and readiness to return to sports when compared with traditional ACL reconstruction,” said Manning.

EvergreenHealth is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its high performance in knee replacement, with surgeons who pioneer in minimally invasive and computer-navigated procedures for knee repair, said the release.

“We are committed to continually enhancing the quality of care we provide at EvergreenHealth, which is why we are honored to be one of the few orthopedic facilities in the nation to offer the game-changing BEAR Implant,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Jeff Tomlin, MD. “Our state-of-the-art facility offers experts in orthopedic care, comprehensive rehabilitation services, and more than 20 renowned orthopedic surgeons. This latest achievement is one more step in our goal to provide the highest level of orthopedic care for our patients and their families.”