Nebraska Medicine doctor performing new ACL reconstruction surgery
Rather than a graft, the new procedure helps the tissue heal itself
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - You hear about it happening to a lot of athletes.
Most recently to Nebraska wide receiver Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda. He tore his ACL and is out for the season.
“Unfortunately, it’s about 250,000 tears a year, so it happens a lot in the U.S.,” says Dr. Matthew Tao, a Nebraska Medicine orthopedic surgeon.
Dr. Tao is the very first doctor in the Cornhusker State to try a new ACL reconstructive surgery called “BEAR.”
A typical ACL reconstruction surgery requires a tissue graft from another part of your leg, or from a deceased donor. “BEAR” is less invasive and it’s the first procedure that allows a torn ACL to heal itself.
“We’re just using the tissue that is already there. Keeping it, preserving it, repairing it, but just augmenting or adding this collagen implant, with the goal of trying to get their own tissue to heal,” says Tao.
It’s a concept athletic trainer Cheyenne Janicek thought she’d try. She tore her ACL playing sports and after doing her own research, decided “BEAR” was right for her.
“I just thought why not, if it doesn’t work there’s always a back up of just using a normal muscle graft like they have been doing, so I was down to kind of be the first, in Nebraska at least, and see what happens. The research they have so far has looked really promising, so I was ok to take the risk with what was out there already,” says Janicek.
Now, future patients with ACL tears have another option to consider.
Dr. Tao says, while the healing process utilizing “BEAR” may be slightly quicker in the end, a big part of the recovery process is the physical rehabilitation and the mental recovery, typically involved in any surgery.
No word yet meantime, on what specific ACL procedure the Huskers’ Garcia-Castaneda has planned.
Copyright 2023 WOWT. All rights reserved.