The meniscus of the knee is a sort of pad that keeps the large, heavy bones of the joint from abrading each other with every step. When your meniscus becomes inflamed or degraded, the resulting pain can be intense.
As an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, I treat a number of children and adults with meniscus injuries, prescribing a range of interventions from rest and steroids to arthroscopic knee surgery. Although these treatments work well, it wasn’t until recently that soft tissue such as the meniscus could be replaced wholesale.
Now a new device is making waves here in the states – an artificial meniscus that has already won over converts in Europe. It was recently granted its first human trial in Boston:
Doctors inserted NUsurface meniscus implant in the knee of Brockton, Mass., resident Rob Price at Brigham and Women’s Hospital before Thanksgiving. Price had his ACL replaced in his left knee, and his meniscus was removed because of a tear, about 10 years ago after playing basketball.
The prognosis looks good so far, even as the device continues to undergo FDA scrutiny. If and when it earns widespread approval, this device will represent yet another leap forward in our treatment of knee pain and knee injuries.