First Meniscus Replacement in Colorado Performed by a Local Doctor who treated a Golden woman with persistent knee pain in the Active Implants SUN Clinical Trial.
Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Specialists, a regional leader in comprehensive orthopedic services, and Active Implants, a company that develops orthopedic implant solutions, today announced that the first meniscus replacement procedures in Colorado have been successfully performed by Dr. Wayne Gersoff.
Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Specialists is the only center in Denver – and 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 safety and effectiveness 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 58-year-old Golden resident Kathleen Cohan, who tore her meniscus on both knees during a head-on collision over 35 years ago. Although she underwent two partial meniscectomies to treat the tears, she continued to experience knee pain. The pain became so severe that over the last six years, Cohan has dealt with constant burning and stiffness in her knees. As an avid backcountry skier, she was forced to cut down her skiing from 60 days to only two days a year. She was unable to go hiking, rock climbing or even walk for more than three miles. Cohan’s pain had persisted to the point where she had to take painkillers on an almost daily basis.
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.
“There are limited options for patients who experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery,” Dr. Gersoff said. “Our hope with the NUsurface implant is that it will alleviate pain in these patients, helping them to delay or avoid knee replacement surgery, and allowing them to return to the activities they enjoy.”
Cohan received the NUsurface Meniscus Implant on May 21, 2016, through a small incision in her right knee and completed a six-week rehabilitation program. It has been almost one year since her surgery and the constant burning pain in her right knee has fully subsided. In addition to her daily leisure activities, she has even returned to backcountry skiing and hiking on a regular basis. Most recently, Cohan went on an adventure trip in Costa Rica with a stable knee, which included rough and steep walking surfaces, class IV river rafting, zip lines and hanging bridges.
“Receiving the NUsurface Meniscus Implant has really helped me return to my active sports lifestyle,” Cohan said. “Avoiding joint replacement is very important to me, and I am hopeful that this implant will help me delay knee replacement for another 10 years.”
The NUsurface Meniscus Implant has been used in Europe under CE Mark since 2008 and Israel since 2011.