BEAR® Technology

A new paradigm for treating ACL tears

What is ACL Injury?

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a strong ligament inside the knee that allows for turning, cutting, twisting, and pivoting. The majority of ACL tears occur when an individual makes a sudden cut or turn with feet planted, which is a common action in sports such as football, soccer, and basketball, especially at a competitive level. There may also be other knee structures that are injured at the same time, including the meniscus (fibrocartilage cushion in the knee), other ligaments, or the smooth articular cartilage on the ends of bone.

Standard Surgical Treatment: ACL Reconstruction

The standard surgical treatment in current practice is to reconstruct the ACL using a tendon from the patient's own body. Choices include the patellar tendon (which connects the kneecap to the bottom leg bone) or the hamstring tendon (which connects the hamstrings to the bottom leg bone). In this procedure, the torn ACL fibers are completely removed and replaced with a part of the patellar or hamstring tendon, which is inserted arthroscopically into large tunnels drilled into the knee.

The BEAR® Procedure

In the BEAR® procedure (bridge-enhanced ACL restoration), the torn ACL fibers are instead sutured and stitched into the center of the knee with an implant that absorbs your own blood. This provides a healing environment for the torn ACL fibers to repair themselves together. This new approach to ACL treatment, developed at Boston Children's Hospital, has been trialed in animal models and over 70 patients. Learn more about BEAR® technology and the ongoing clinical trials using the device at the Boston Children's Hospital ACL Program webiste.

Taking BEAR® farther: the BEAR-MOON trial

The BEAR-MOON trial expands the use of this investigational new technique to multiple sites across the United States. Continue reading about the BEAR-MOON trial...