Approves Knee-Injury Device for Humans
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
MU Researchers Helped
Developed Device That Allows for Repair of Torn Knee Meniscus
A new knee-surgery device
investigated by University of Missouri-Columbia researchers that
will help to repair meniscus tears, which were previously defined
as irreparable, has been approved by the FDA for use in humans.
Previous treatment options forced surgeons to completely
remove the damaged portion of the meniscus. Typically the removal
of the meniscus leads to painful, debilitating arthritis in the
knee. Herb Schwartz, president and CEO of Schwartz Biomedical,
LLC, and James Cook, MU professor of veterinary medicine and
surgery and William C. Allen Endowed Scholar for Orthopedic
Research in MU's College of Veterinary Medicine, developed the
BioDuct Meniscal Fixation Device. Schwartz and Cook believe that
patients with meniscus tears will now be able to have their
meniscus saved along with long-term knee function.
the past, when faced with meniscus injuries, surgeons were often
forced to completely remove the torn meniscal cartilage, leaving
a deficient knee that was doomed to develop arthritis," Cook
said. "With the BioDuct Meniscal Fixation Device, surgeons
will be able to repair torn menisci and induce healing. People
with meniscus injuries now have a better future ahead."
The meniscus, a padding tissue that provides shock
absorption and joint stability in the knee, is crucial for normal
knee function. Surgeries for meniscus tears are common with
approximately one million occurring in the United States each
year. When meniscus function is deficient, bone rubs on bone and
arthritis is likely to develop and progress. Because two-thirds
of the meniscus is avascular (lacks a blood supply), a tear in
that region will not repair itself. This new device will
transport blood and cells from the vascular portion of the knee
to the avascular portion of the meniscus. Supplied with blood and
cells for healing, the previously untreatable meniscal tear now
has the potential for allowing the knee joint to be saved.
Cook's research team performed the BioDuct surgery on 25
dogs that had worst-case scenario meniscal tears. With the
BioDuct Meniscal Fixation Device, the meniscus in the dogs' knees
had complete or partial repair after a few weeks in all cases.
"Currently, there are no other devices that can
provide improved fixation over time," Schwartz said.
"Therefore, the BioDuct device is set apart from the rest of
In his research, Cook found that the
device will significantly improve healing of avascular meniscal
tears both biologically and biomechanically, which should lessen
the long-term effects of meniscus injuries, including
osteoarthritis. Cook's recent findings were published in the
American Journal of Sports Medicine.
device could impact the industry by improving repairs of the
meniscus to such an extent that fewer patients develop arthritis
that results from removing the meniscal tissue," Schwartz
said. "Thus, with fewer patients developing arthritis, the
result could be fewer total joint replacements or at least
delaying the need for a total joint replacement."
recently won the national Thank Your Vet for a Healthy Pet award
from the Morris Animal Foundation and Merial and Bow Tie Inc.
Cook was chosen from more than 1,100 nominations. The award is
given to those veterinarians who demonstrate compassion and
unwavering commitment to helping their clients. Cook will be
presented with the award in February at the Western Veterinary
Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.
Source: University of
Time Stamp: 10/2/2007 at
2:27:20 PM CST
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