The Knee Injuries Keep on Coming


Fall sports are in full swing…and unfortunately for some, so are the injuries that come along with them. Going into NFL week eleven, at least 82 players have already been listed on Injured Reserve or are expected to be out for the season due to knee injuries.

ACL and MCL injuries are two of the most common ligament injuries during fall contact sports like football. In many instances, surgeons lead with conservative treatment for the MCL in particular, but sometimes surgical intervention is necessary.

Team surgeons (and those treating weekend warriors) are trying to deliver optimal outcomes and an efficient recovery for their patients.

“I think many surgeons have been there, where we have an ACL + MCL injury. We wait four to six weeks to see if that MCL can heal, and then we’re in the operating room and the MCL has not fully healed. We’re faced with a decision point where we have to do something for the MCL or it will put too much stress on our ACL Reconstruction,” says Seth Sherman, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon for Stanford Cardinal Football and as the Sports Medicine fellowship director at Stanford.

Because of examples like this one, synthetic and biologic implant augments are gaining popularity in the knee.

“In those types of scenarios with a repair, I think it would be really helpful to have something that will add time-zero strength so you can get good stability for early range of motion, and also something that can actually help support robust tissue healing.”

Current techniques used to address a MCL that hasn't healed, focus solely on strength through suture tape incorporation. But the missing piece for the MCL, or additional augmentation of an ACLR, is how to add both strength and healing properties to the repair.

“So, what is the missing link? What is that puzzle piece between the two?” Dr. Sherman questions. “I think that BioBrace® fills this void nicely as a scaffold with both good strength and good healing capacity, offering biology and biomechanics.”

BioBrace® offers a unique scaffold design for reinforcement of any repair or reconstruction. The type I collagen sponge provides a porous framework for cellular infiltration. Meanwhile, the resorbable PLLA microfilaments provide supplemental strength and reinforcement for up to 2 years.1

For surgeons who prefer to further promote healing for their patient and incorporate a PRP, the open architecture of BioBrace® provides an ideal scaffold. Don Buford, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Texas Orthobiologics uses BioBrace® for his ACL augmentations and often times incorporates ortho biologics into his repairs.

“It’s amazing how the strong construct of BioBrace® has the capability to soak blood immediately so we can really take advantage of the healing potential and load sharing while the graft incorporates in the patient.” says Dr. Buford. “We recently tested and determined that BioBrace® was able to absorb 342% of its weight. The best part is that it was still suturable in the OR and added a third strand to the autologous hamstring, increasing graft diameter by 1-1.5mm.”*

If you have a patient who is anxious to get back in the game, consider augmenting with a reinforced implant to offer immediate load sharing and facilitate healing. 

1 K203267 – 510(k) Clearance Letter - The BioBrace® Implant 
* Data on file with Dr. Don Buford