In an a article published in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, researchers have found a new and potentially exciting way to fix Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, without having to take a graft from the patellar tendon.
From a Northwestern University article:
One of the worst injuries an athlete can incur is a rupture of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Athletes that have had an ACL injury include: Robert Griffin III, Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Lindsey Vonn, and Picabo Street.
According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 250,000 ACL surgeries are performed annually in the United States, totaling up to more than $500 million in health care costs each year.
Not only is the ACL inelastic and prone to popping, it is incapable of healing itself, causing surgeons to rely on autografts for reconstruction.
Guillermo Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and professor of surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine says “By saving the patient’s patellar tendon and using an off-the-shelf product, one may have a better chance of preserving the natural biomechanics of the knee.”