Bridge-Enhanced Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair: Two-Year Results of a First-in-Human Study.Orthop J Sports Med 2019; 7(3):2325967118824356OJ
Bridge-enhanced anterior cruciate ligament repair (BEAR) combines suture repair of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) with a specific extracellular matrix scaffold (the BEAR scaffold) that is placed in the gap between the torn ends of the ACL to facilitate ligament healing.
The purpose of this study was to report the 12- and 24-month outcomes of patients who underwent the BEAR procedure compared with a nonrandomized concurrent control group who underwent ACL reconstruction (ACLR) with an autograft. We hypothesized that the BEAR group would have physical examination findings, patient-reported outcomes, and adverse events that were similar to those of the ACLR group.
Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.
Ten patients underwent BEAR, and 10 underwent ACLR with a 4-stranded hamstring autograft. At 24 months, 9 of the 10 BEAR patients and 7 of the 10 ACLR patients completed a study visit. Outcomes reported included International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective and objective results, knee anteroposterior (AP) laxity findings via an arthrometer, and functional outcomes.
There were no graft or repair failures in the first 24 months after surgery. The IKDC subjective scores in both groups improved significantly from baseline (P < .0001) at 12 and 24 months, to 84.6 ± 17.2 in the ACLR group and to 91.7 ± 11.7 in the BEAR group. An IKDC objective grade of A (normal) was found in 44% of patients in the BEAR group and in 29% of patients in the ACLR group at 24 months; no patients in either group had C (abnormal) or D (severely abnormal) grades. Arthrometer testing demonstrated mean side-to-side differences in AP laxity that were similar in the 2 groups at 24 months (BEAR, 1.94 ± 2.08 mm; ACLR, 3.14 ± 2.66 mm). Functional hop testing results were similar in the 2 groups at 12 and 24 months after surgery. Hamstring strength indices were significantly higher in the BEAR group compared with the ACLR group (P = .0001).
In this small, first-in-human study, BEAR produced similar outcomes to ACLR with a hamstring autograft. BEAR may result in knee stability and patient-reported outcomes at 2 years sufficient to warrant longer term studies of efficacy in larger groups of patients.