Local Orthopedic Surgeon and Team Doctor for U.S. Olympic Team Treats Carlsbad Resident with Persistent Knee Pain in SUN Clinical Trial
Dr. Scott A. Hacker, an expert in arthroscopic surgery, total joint replacements, sports medicine and fracture care, and Active Implants, a company that develops orthopedic implant solutions, today announced that the first meniscus replacement procedure in San Diego has been performed. Dr. Hacker is the only physician in San Diego County – and Grossmont Orthopedic Medical Group is one of just 10 sites nationwide – enrolling patients with persistent knee pain caused by injured or deteriorating meniscus cartilage in the SUN trial, which is designed to assess the ability of the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant (pronounced “new surface”) in restoring function similar to that of a natural, healthy meniscus.
The recipient of the implant was Justin Marchand, 40-year-old Carlsbad resident and father of six. Four years ago, Marchand tore the meniscus in his left knee while practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu drills, only to suffer a second tear in the same knee in 2014 while jogging. Although he underwent two partial meniscectomies to treat the tears, he continued to suffer from constant pain and swelling in his knee. As an avid surfer for over 25 years, Marchand went from surfing every day to once per week at best – with the expense of pain flare-ups after each session. His knee became extremely vulnerable to any type of sudden movement, and he was forced to limit all sports activities, including mountain biking, skiing and hiking.
The meniscus is a tissue pad between the thigh and shin bones. Once damaged, the meniscus has a very limited ability to heal. Over 1 million partial meniscectomies to remove or repair a torn meniscus are performed in the U.S. every year, about the same as the total number of hip and knee replacement surgeries combined. However, many patients still experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery.
Dr. Hacker said, “There aren’t many great options for patients like Justin, who experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery but are too young for knee replacement surgery.” He concluded, “We hope the SUN study finds that the NUsurface implant alleviates pain in these patients, as well as helps them delay or avoid knee replacement surgery. Patients routinely ask me for something simple that could be put in the joint – this is that option they have been waiting for.”
Marchand received the NUsurface Meniscus Implant on July 25 in a short operation during which the implant was placed into his left knee joint through a small incision. He will now undergo a six-week rehabilitation program, after which time he can begin to resume work, leisure and sports activities.
“For the last four years, I had resigned myself to living with knee pain and limited mobility,” Marchand said. “As a father of six children, it has been particularly heartbreaking because I have not been able to go surfing with my kids or participate in the outdoor activities we love. I am hopeful that the NUsurface Implant will help me get back to my active lifestyle and allow me to go hiking with my family without persistent knee pain.”