#1 – The First BEAR ACL

It is nice to be First. Victory Sports Medicine & Orthopedics is very proud to announce that Dr. Pietropaoli performed the first(excluding clinical trial studies), FDA-approved on-label Bridge Enhanced ACL Restoration (BEAR) surgery in the USA.

Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration (BEAR) Surgery

Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration (BEAR) Surgery is a groundbreaking procedure developed by Dr. Martha Murray at Boston Children’s Hospital that restores the patient’s own ACL “keeping their own parts” as opposed to reconstruction. This process stimulates the ACL to heal itself eliminating the need for a tendon graft.

How Is Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration (BEAR) Performed?

The Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration (BEAR) stimulates healing of the original ligament with stitches and an implant. The implant is a bio-engineered sponge saturated with the patient’s own blood to promote clotting and create an environment in which torn ACL tissue can grow back together.
BEAR ACL Surgery

BEAR ACL Team Photo

BEAR ACL Surgery

What is the ACL?  

Knee Ligaments Illustration



ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament and it is one of four major ligaments in the knee.  The ACL connects the anterior (front) part of the tibia (shin bone) to the posterior (back) part of the femur (thigh bone).  It prevents the tibia from sliding forward on the femur but more importantly when cutting, pivoting, or turning to the opposite side, it prevents that knee from giving out in a twisting fashion.

ACL Reconstruction

ACL Reconstruction
For the past decade, Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction has been the main surgical method to treat an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear.  For Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction, a surgeon will take a piece of tissue (a “graft”) from another portion of the patient’s body or a donated piece of tissue from a cadaver. The surgeon then prepares the graft to fit inside the injured knee so that it is roughly the same size as the original ligament. Once that is done, the surgeon drills tunnels in the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone) in order to feed the new ligament into place in the correct location in the center of the knee.

Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration (BEAR) Surgery vs ACL Reconstruction

BEAR ACL Illustration
A standard Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction can be two surgeries. First, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient’s leg to harvest a tendon or ligament that will be used as a graft. Second, the surgeon removes the torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament and replaces it with the graft. This second surgery is done arthroscopically, through a small incision near the patient’s knee.


For the BEAR procedure, a surgeon makes an incision near the patient’s knee to insert the sponge between the torn ends of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. The rest of the procedure is done arthroscopically.

Watch Martha Murray discuss the Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Restoration (BEAR) procedure and clinical trials.

Call 315-685-7544 to schedule an appointment or contact us at bear@victorysportsmedicine.com