Adam Metzler, MD is pioneering the use of a breakthrough technology called the BEAR® Implant for treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, one of the most common knee injuries in the U.S.
Dr Metzler is one of the leading ACL surgeons in the country with over 1000 ACL surgeries performed, and over 150 ACL surgeries performed each year.
The BEAR Implant is the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in more than 30 years. It is the first FDA-approved medical technology to enable healing of a torn ACL. This new approach is a shift from the current standard of care, reconstruction, which replaces the ACL with a graft.
Every year, approximately 400,000 ACL injuries occur in the U.S. A torn ACL does not heal without treatment, resulting in ACL reconstruction being one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the U.S (Image 1).
There are a number of advantages to restoring a ligament instead of replacing it, and this exciting medical technology is the first to enable the body to heal its own torn ACL while maintaining the natural knee anatomy, in select patients.
What does the procedure entail?
The BEAR implant acts as a bridge to help ends of the torn ACL heal together. The surgeon injects a small amount of your own blood into the implant and inserts it between the torn ends of the ACL in a minimally invasive procedure (Image 2 and 3). The combination of the BEAR Implant and your blood enables the body to potentially heal the torn ends of the ACL back together (Image 4).
Who is the procedure for?
Dr Metzler may recommend the BEAR Implant if you are at least 14 years of age, skeletally mature, with a complete rupture of the ACL, as confirmed by MRI. You must have an ACL stump attached to the tibia to facilitate the restoration. The BEAR procedure must be performed within 50 days of the injury, per FDA approval.
What are the benefits?
About half of people who receive patellar tendon grafts experience pain while kneeling, and those who receive hamstring grafts have persistent weakness – as much as a 50% deficit at two years. Since the BEAR Implant doesn’t involve a graft, these types of complications don’t occur.
The BEAR Implant has the same potential medical/surgical complications as other orthopedic surgical procedures, including ACL reconstruction. These include the risk of re-tear, infection, knee pain, meniscus injury and limited range of motion. You should discuss your individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment with their surgeon.
If you’ve injured your ACL, call Dr Metzler today at 859-301-2663 to set up an urgent athlete appointment or set up a virtual visit, to see if you might be a good candidate for BEAR Implant.