BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville announced a first-in-the-state treatment approach to ACL tears.

According to a press release, the Bentonville branch of Northwest Health will be offering a bridge-enhanced repair implant for the treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, one of the most common knee injuries in the U.S.

The new implant is the first to enable the body to heal its own torn ACL, Northwest Health said. The new approach is a shift from the current standard of care and is reportedly the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in more than 30 years.

Unlike reconstruction, Northwest Health says the new technique and procedure do not require a second surgical wound site to remove a healthy tendon from another part of the leg or the use of a donor’s tendon.

The implant reportedly acts as a bridge to help the ends of the torn ACL heal together. According to the release, “the surgeon injects a small amount of the patient’s own blood into the implant and inserts it between the torn ends of the ACL. The combination of the implant and the patient’s blood enables the body to heal the torn ends of the ACL back together while maintaining the ACL’s original attachments to the femur and tibia.”

As the ACL heals, the implant is resorbed by the body, within approximately eight weeks.

“This new implant and the bridge-enhanced ACL repair technique is a game-changer,” said Dr. Christopher Dougherty, sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon at Agility Center Orthopedics. “For the first time, you can actually restore your ACL and regrow it. The surgery has a chance to recreate your natural knee and unlike repairs with grafts, lets you take your knee back to time zero before injury.”

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