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BEAR® Implant
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BEAR® Implant

JAG Physical Therapy is one of the first PT providers in New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania to offer post-operative recovery to treat the new, less-invasive, 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.  

The BEAR Implant is the first major breakthrough 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 US. A torn ACL does not heal without treatment, resulting in ACL reconstruction being one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the country. Yet the procedure has drawbacks: Some surgeries require two separate incisions, and some people who undergo ACL reconstruction are unable to return to daily activities or sports at the same level that they are used to. 

There are several 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.

What does the procedure entail?

Unlike reconstruction, the BEAR Implant does not require a second surgical wound site to remove a healthy tendon from another part of the leg or using a deceased donor’s tendon. Instead, the 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. The combination of the BEAR Implant and your blood enables the body to regrow healthy tissue between the ends of the torn ligament while maintaining the ACL’s original attachments to the femur and tibia. As the ACL heals, the BEAR Implant is reabsorbed by the body, usually within eight weeks.

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Who is the procedure for?

Your physician 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 device must be implanted within 50 days of injury.

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 in strength after two years. Since the BEAR Implant doesn’t involve a graft, these types of complications don’t occur.  

Additionally, both ACL reconstruction approaches have an ACL re-tear rate as high as 20% for teens and as high as 9% for adults. If the ACL is re-injured, revisions to traditional ACL reconstruction can be complicated and can require multiple surgeries. Conversely, revisions with the BEAR Implant are easier and more predictable. 

The BEAR Implant uses only a single incision and does not involve the implantation of an autografted piece of the patient’s own leg tendon or a donor tendon.

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, speak to your physician today to see if you might be a good candidate for BEAR Implant. And if you’re scheduled for BEAR Implant surgery, choose JAG PT – our convenient local clinics offer specialized pre- and post-operative PT specifically for those undergoing this revolutionary procedure. Find your nearest location or schedule your initial appointment today.

JAG PT Locations & Clinicians that treat the BEAR Implant

New York

New Jersey