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Exciting News! BEAR® is Now at The Pediatric Orthopedic Center

bear implant operation

Young athletes who’ve suffered an ACL tear now have a new treatment option at TPOC. It’s called BEAR® (Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration), an innovative, less invasive surgery to restore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in the knee. It is now available to our young patients. and we can perform this procedure on patients as young as 14 years old.

ACL Injuries at a Glance

The ACL connects the end of the femur to the top of the tibia within the knee and is the primary stabilizer to the joint. A child’s ACL can be torn partially or completely when there is a sudden planting and twisting injury, or a collision event during daily play or in soccer, lacrosse, football, hockey, basketball, or downhill skiing. Interestingly, female athletes are more prone to tear their ACLs when compared to male athletes due to various reasons.

The BEAR technique provides us with a new personalized treatment for this common injury that is helping young athletes get back on the field or court more easily. Here’s why.

Why We are Bullish about BEAR

Traditional ACL reconstruction comprises removing the ligament, after which the orthopedic surgeon replaces it with a tendon graft that will become the stabilizer of the knee.

BEAR restoration is a less invasive way to restore a torn ACL, with outcomes equivalent to traditional orthopedic reconstruction methods. BEAR poses no risk to the child’s growth plates that may cause a growth deformity, making it possible to perform an ACL restoration safely on young patients whose bones are still growing.

With BEAR restoration, we are not harvesting tissue grafted from another part of the knee in the patient as a replacement. Instead, the ACL tear is reattached and:

  • A bioengineered cylindrical sponge made from purified bovine collagen is placed on the restored ligament.
  • The sponge is saturated with the patient’s own blood.
  • This implant then creates a healing environment and promotes tissue growth to reconnect and re-attach the ligament back to the bone naturally.

Instead of more invasive surgery, the collagen implant does some of the work for us. At the same time, the young patient is more comfortable after BEAR surgery, which offers the same post-surgical outcome for restoration as traditional ACL surgery, with a high level of safety for the child.

More Good News about BEAR and TPOC

The Pediatric Orthopedic Center is the first pediatric-only orthopedic practice to offer the BEAR procedure throughout New Jersey, New York, and the Philadelphia area. TPOC is also among the first orthopedic practices in New Jersey to perform the procedure on patients of any age.

Our orthopedic surgeons have been exclusively trained in this surgical procedure (pioneered by specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital and recently approved by the FDA) so we can offer it to our pediatric patients at all four of our centers: Cedar Knolls, Wayne, Jersey City, and Springfield. If your child has suffered a painful ACL tear, please bring him or her to our office for an evaluation to determine which restoration method will be best.

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