OrthoMemphis’ Landmark Meniscus Study
Biloine W. Young • Thu, June 8th, 2017
Tim Goldsmith, M.D., chief clinical officer at Youth Villages, is the first person in Tennessee to receive meniscus replacement surgery in which a surgeon inserted an Active Implants, LLC’s NUsurface meniscus implant device in his knee joint.
The meniscus is the tissue pad between the thigh and shin bones. Currently in clinical trials, the NUsurface implant is inserted in the knee joint to replace an injured meniscus.
Once it is damaged, the meniscus has a limited ability to heal. More than one million partial meniscectomies are performed in the U.S. every year which is more than the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries performed.
Some patients continue to experience pain following meniscal surgery. This can evolve into arthritis requiring a total knee replacement, according to Goldsmith.
“The meniscus can take a beating,” said Randall Holcomb, M.D., OrthoMemphis president and sports medicine orthopedic surgeon. “It can take an injury, it can take surgery and continue to work well, but there are some configurations of injury patterns that necessitate removing important parts of the meniscus.”
The implant is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision, and patients typically can go home on the same day of the operation. After surgery, they undergo a six-week rehabilitation program.
“I had already had my other knee operated on, so I knew what meniscus surgery was like and I knew what to expect afterwards. But I was unprepared for the range of motion and the lack of pain that I have now,” Goldsmith said. “With this new replacement it’s just incredibly different. It feels like a new knee to me.”
“One of the reasons that I wanted to do this is the long-term prognosis of not having to have a costly and painful total knee replacement later,” he said. “If I start to have problems with the device or it wears out, they just take this one out and pop a new one in. That’s the nicest part about it.”
OrthoMemphis is the only center in Tennessee and is one of only 10 sites nationwide that are participating in the VENUS (Verification of the Effectiveness of the NUsurface System) clinical trial. Participants must be between the ages of 30 and 75 and have pain after medial meniscus surgery that was performed at least six months ago.
NUsurface has been used in Europe since 2008 and in Israel since 2011. Following an early stage redesign, it has shown positive results.