A new innovative procedure, developed by Chad Lavender, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Cabell Huntington Hospital, offers patients with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), in some cases, healing in as little as 10 weeks compared to 10 months.

Dr. Lavender’s published procedure, called The Fertilized ACL, uses bone marrow, drawn from the patient, containing stem cells. This is concentrated and combined with Allosync Pure (a bone grafting solution) to create biologic filler. He also uses the patient’s own bone reaming from the tunnels to add to this biologic filler.

The ACL is one of four major knee ligaments that aid in stability. An ACL tear is most often a sports-related injury but can also occur during rough play, motor vehicle collisions, falls and work-related injuries.

Traditionally, surgery for ACL injuries involved reconstructing or repairing the ACL using a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using a part of the body, such as the tendon of the kneecap or the hamstring tendons.

Small tunnels are then drilled in the bone above the knee and another in the bone below it. Screws are then placed in the tunnels to anchor the graft in place. Alternatively small buttons may be used along the edge of the bone to secure the graft in place.

“What is left is empty space surrounding the graft in the tunnels,” said Lavender. “Because of the possibility of movement of the graft, rerupture can occur after reconstruction. What I developed fills that space and serves to strengthen the graft, enhancing graft to bone healing and offering less pain and possibly faster recovery.”

The bone marrow mixture fills the cavity in the bone. An internal brace is then added to provide strength to the graft. The entire procedure is conducted arthroscopically so there is less pain and minimal scarring.

“The biologic composite graft enhances healing so we can advance our rehabilitation protocols,” Lavender said. “We are seeing early positive radiographic results.”

Lavender has successfully completed more than 30 procedures and patients have received the same benefits of standard ACL reconstructions with shorter recovery.

Lavender is accepting new patients and referrals at Marshall Health-Teays Valley located at 300 Corporate Center Drive in Scott Depot and the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute located at 2211 Third Avenue in Huntington.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lavender, please call 304.691.6710.

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