First Meniscus Replacement in Tennessee with NUsurface® Implant

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“There are few options for patients who experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery,” Dr. Holcomb said. “We hope the NUsurface implant will act as an artificial meniscus to alleviate their pain and hopefully prevent the onset of degenerative joint disease. Although at this time we cannot make the claim, the NUsurface device may be the solution to slowing down or preventing degenerative arthritis associated with meniscal injuries.”

The first meniscus replacement procedure in Tennessee was successfully performed today as reported by OrthoMemphis and Active Implants.

Dr. Randall Holcomb, sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon and president of OrthoMemphis, was the surgeon selected for the study due to his 30 years of expertise in area of cartilage restoration and transplantation. OrthoMemphis is the only center in Tennessee – and just one of 10 sites nationwide – participating in the VENUS (Verification of the Effectiveness of the NUsurface® System) clinical trial, which is enrolling patients with persistent knee pain after loss of meniscus cartilage to assess the safety and effectiveness of the investigational NUsurface Meniscus Implant compared to non-surgical standard of care.

The meniscus is a tissue pad between the thigh and shin bones. Once it is damaged, the meniscus has a very limited ability to heal, and therefore meniscus surgery is performed to remove the torn painful portion of the meniscus. Over 1 million partial meniscectomies are performed in the U.S. every year, more than the total number of hip and knee replacement surgeries combined. While partial meniscectomy surgery is tremendously successful, there is still a subset of patients that continue to experience pain following meniscal surgery. These patients tend to have deteriorating meniscus cartilage, which remains painful and can evolve into arthritis requiring a total knee replacement.

The first patient to receive the NUsurface Meniscus Implant in Tennessee is Memphis resident Dr. Tim Goldsmith. He suffered a knee injury two years ago while practicing twisting lunges during a workout session. This injury led the 60-year-old to undergo alternative treatments to treat the pain, including muscle strengthening physical therapy, injections to relieve pain and finally a partial meniscectomy on his left knee. However, he continued to have consistent knee pain on a daily basis that impacted any activity – from playing golf and interval workout training classes to simply walking up and down stairs.

“There are few options for patients who experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery,” Dr. Holcomb said. “We hope the NUsurface implant will act as an artificial meniscus to alleviate their pain and hopefully prevent the onset of degenerative joint disease. Although at this time we cannot make the claim, the NUsurface device may be the solution to slowing down or preventing degenerative arthritis associated with meniscal injuries.”

Dr. Holcomb implanted the device in April 2016 through a small incision in Goldsmith’s knee. Goldsmith was able to quickly return to his work as chief clinical officer at Youth Villages, a private nonprofit dedicated to helping thousands of emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully. Following the full six-week physical therapy regimen with OrthoMemphis’ Steven Chipman, Goldsmith also resumed his favorite pastimes, including golf, spin classes, and interval strength and resistance training. Since his surgery, Goldsmith’s knee has been stable and he has continued his active lifestyle.

“Prior to receiving the NUsurface Meniscus Implant, I felt like I was out of options and had resigned myself to living with pain and waiting for eventual knee replacement,” Goldsmith said. “Now, I am not only rid of the knee pain, but am also experiencing better mobility and flexibility – this gives me hope that I will have the ability to stay as active as I’d like to be for as long as I can.”

The NUsurface Meniscus Implant is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision, and patients typically can go home on the same day of the operation. After surgery, they undergo a six-week rehabilitation program. NUsurface has been used in Europe since 2008 and Israel since 2011.

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