BEAR® Implant for ACL Repair

At Vero Orthopaedics, we are here to provide you with the latest evidence-based treatments to take on injury and get back to optimal health. In keeping with our commitment to offering customized care plans with the best potential outcomes, we are proud to be the first providers in Indian River County to offer a cutting-edge procedure for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair as an alternative to a traditional reconstruction surgery.

Bridge-enhanced ACL repair (BEAR) is a new FDA-approved procedure that allows a torn ACL to heal itself. The BEAR procedure is accomplished by using a decellularized, bovine-derived, type I collagen implant that resorbs within 8 weeks of implantation.

Why the BEAR Procedure?

When an ACL tear occurs, the synovial fluid in the knee joint prevents the ACL from healing normally. If these patients suffer from a dysfunctional unstable knee, they often require ACL reconstruction surgery, where the damaged portion of the ACL is replaced with a donor's tendon or tissue from another part of their own body. While this method is standard and dependable, ACL reconstruction can result in persistent weakness at the location where the graft was taken. The BEAR Implant avoids having to use a graft and, therefore, it has been shown in some clinical trials to result in faster recovery of muscle strength measured at 6 and 12 months after surgery.

While the short-term results seem to be at least as good as the ACL reconstruction, the long-term results of the BEAR technique are still not known. One study found a 14 percent retear in the BEAR group compared to a 6 percent retear rate in the ACL group, but the difference was not statistically significant. Therefore, for those patients who prefer the "gold standard," they may want to stick with a traditional ACL reconstruction. Nevertheless, since most failures in ACL reconstruction occur within the first year of the surgery, researchers are hopeful that this new technique will also prove the test of time and become the new standard of care for ACL injuries. Researchers are also excited that data suggests this technique may have a long-term advantage over the ACL reconstruction in reducing the risk of arthritis that develops from the injury.

How the BEAR Procedure Works

During the eight weeks after the BEAR knee procedure, the implant will be resorbed into the knee, allowing your own tissue to grow and take the place of the implant. Your knee surgeon will use your own blood to activate the implant and create a way for the blood to clot and heal. The implant will act as a bridge that will allow the ACL tissues to bind back together.

Benefits of the BEAR Implant

  • Preserves and restores the natural ACL tissue
  • No grafting required, meaning better range of movement and less healing needed
  • Quicker muscle strength recovery
  • Go home the same day after the simple procedure

Eligibility for the BEAR Implant

  • Patients must have completely ruptured their ACL, confirmed by an MRI scan.
  • Patients must be at least 14 years old with full skeletal maturation.
  • Surgery must take place within 50 days of the ACL injury event.

Why Choose Vero Orthopaedics?

Our BEAR procedure expert, Dr. John Peden, is the first surgeon in Indian River County to perform the BEAR Implant procedure for ACL repair. Dr. Peden is a Mayo Clinic–trained orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in knee and sports medicine care as well as the shoulder, elbow, hip, and wrist. With this extensive training and experience, Dr. Peden has the expertise to assess your knee injury and deliver the individualized care plan you need. 

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Peden, please contact us at (772) 569-2330 or schedule an appointment online.