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Monica Buchanan, Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Hartford, CT- Connecticut Children’s recently became the first health system in Connecticut to use the BEAR® Implant to treat a torn pediatric anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the most common sports injuries in the U.S. The implant is injected with a small amount of the patient’s own blood, then inserted in the knee using a minimally invasive procedure. Over time, it acts as a bridge to help the ACL heal itself.
The surgery represents a huge shift from the standard treatment for ACL tears: Prior to this advancement, a patient’s best option usually involved major surgery and borrowing healthy tissue from another spot in their knee.
“This was a great option for our patient. At 15 years old, Luna tore her ACL skiing and though a standard ACL reconstruction would have been a good option for her, she met all of the criteria to be considered for this new and innovative procedure,” said Allison Crepeau, Connecticut Children’s orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon. “She was an ideal candidate for the BEAR® implant and it was important we made this procedure available here in Connecticut.”
It’s also a milestone for every young athlete in Connecticut. Children and youth now have another option to repair the torn ligament and get back to sport safely.
There was also something else remarkable about the experience: Luna plans to be a pediatric doctor herself someday, specializing in newborns. Having Dr. Crepeau perform a pioneering surgery, with technology developed by a female mentor, is symbolic especially during Women’s History Month!
Now Luna is a role model too, paving the way for other young athletes. Her surgery was the first of its kind in Connecticut, introducing breakthrough technology that was once beyond imagination.
“The BEAR Implant creates an environment for my ACL to heal itself,” Luna says. “It’s an amazing technology and procedure. And hey, being first in the state – that sounds pretty good on a college application, doesn’t it?”
For more information about Connecticut Children’s sports medicine program, visit https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/search-specialties/sports-medicine
About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s is the only health system in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and a Magnet®-designated hospital. Connecticut Children’s provides more than 30 pediatric specialties by Video Visit and at lots of locations close to home, along with community-based programs to uniquely care for the physical, social and emotional needs of children. Our team of pediatric experts and care coordinators bring access to breakthrough research, advanced treatments for both rare and common diseases, and innovative health and safety programs to every child. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to health care for all children through convenient locations, care alliances and partnerships.