The world’s first successful “artificial meniscus” transplant was just performed in Israel, i24News reported on Monday.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Gabriel Agar from the Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center in Be’er Ya’akov and Dr. Ron Arbel from Ramat Aviv Medical Center in Tel Aviv, who were both involved in the development of the “NUsurface Implant,” which passed clinical trials in Israel and is made from medical-grade plastic in Israel by Active Implants LLC.
It was given a Breakthrough Device Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The implant is inserted into the knee joint with a small incision and made to mimic the movement of the body’s natural meniscus. It does not require any fixation on the bones or soft tissues, which allows patients to return home not long after the operation is complete.
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Patients with damaged or torn menisci can have the transplant surgery as a replacement for previous treatments, such as pain management and physical therapy, according to i24News.
The Jerusalem Post noted that the implant is “intended for people who have regular knee pain following medial meniscus surgery; have failed meniscus repair; are not suitable candidates for a meniscus allograft transplant; or are too young for knee replacement.”
Agar said “this is an exciting time to finally put the NUsurface implant at the disposal of Israeli patients. Persistent pain after repair of meniscus tears is a very common orthopedic problem and, until now, we did not have effective treatment options.”