University Orthopedics Partners with Boston Children’s Hospital on ACL Repair Trial

Procedure Utilizes Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Repair (BEAR®) Technique to Treat Patients with ACL Injuries

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  (November 15, 2018) – University Orthopedics announced that their team of sports medicine surgeons, Drs. Hulstyn, Fadale and Owens, have begun performing ACL repairs with BEAR, a procedure that has been developed by Dr. Martha Murray and her team at Boston Children’s Hospital, with the help of Dr. Braden Fleming and his team at Rhode Island Hospital.

Every year, approximately 400,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur. Unlike other sprained ligaments, the ends of a torn ACL do not reconnect and heal on their own. ACL reconstruction is one of the most common orthopedic procedures of the United States and is the standard treatment for the torn anterior cruciate ligament. During an ACL reconstruction, an orthopedic surgeon removes the ends of the torn ACL and replaces them with a graft, usually with patellar or hamstring tendons from the patient’s knee. The new technique, bridge enhanced ACL repair (BEAR), uses stitches in a bridging scaffold (a protein sponge injected with the patient’s blood) to stimulate healing of the torn ACL.

University Orthopedics’ Dr. Michael Hulstyn was the first to perform the surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. “Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is the standard of care for a torn ACL with high patient satisfaction and outcomes, but carries the long-term risk of graft failure and knee post traumatic degenerative arthritis. The BEAR procedure allows reattachment of the native ligament and is less invasive than reconstruction surgery. The goal is for a faster recovery time and return of knee stability with high patient satisfaction, and hopefully less chance of arthritis 15 to 20 years down the road.”

Dr. Murray states, “We are now in our third clinical trial and we feel that University Orthopedics and Rhode Island Hospital are a perfect fit to continue this research. Doctors Hulstyn, Fadale and Owens have extensive experience in ACL surgery and we are excited to have them join this study.”

The goal of the current study is to analyze the BEAR procedure and more patients to determine if patient age contributes to the success of the procedure. Up to 250 patients will be enrolled at University Orthopaedics /Rhode Island Hospital and at Boston Children’s Hospital.“So far the results have been very promising. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting trial and appreciate Dr. Murray and her staff for allowing University Orthopedics to continue this groundbreaking work,” says Hulstyn.

About University Orthopedics

University Orthopedics, with clinic locations in Providence, Middletown, East Greenwich and Barrington, is a regional Center for Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, with specialties in back and neck pain, joint pain, sports medicine problems, shoulder conditions, pediatric orthopedics, musculoskeletal tumors, hand and wrist problems, hip and knee conditions, trauma, and foot and ankle injuries. UOI includes more than 45 board-certified orthopedic, fellowship trained musculoskeletal and sports medicine physicians.  These specialists are faculty members of the Department of Orthopaedics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University who teach medical students, orthopedic residents, and fellowship sub-specialty surgeons.   University Orthopedics leads the way with Basic and Clinical orthopedic research on the latest advances in orthopedic surgery and injury prevention.

About BEAR Clinical Trial

For those looking to schedule an appointment with a BEAR trial physician, please email BEAR.TRIAL@LIFESPAN.ORG or call 1-401-649-1906.

For more information, visit Appointments can be made through our central scheduling service at 401-457-1500.

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