HONOLULU (KITV4) -- Shriners Children’s Hawaii is the first hospital in the state to use the BEAR Implant for treating one of the most common knee injuries in the U.S. The innovative repair is for an injury involving a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Karli Kaneshiro, 17, is the first patient in Hawaii to receive this innovative procedure that encourages the ligament to grow back together again.
Karli is a cheerleader at Mililani High school and injured her ACL during practice. Dr. Craig Ono at Shriner’s Children’s Hawaii suggested the BEAR implant treatment. At first, Karli’s Mom was apprehensive because this is the very first time the procedure has ever been done in Hawaii.
"Just doing more research, watching videos, and just the comfort with Dr. Ono doing the procedure, we felt reassured…and the fact that it is less invasive,” said Karli’s mom, Ashley Yoshida.
"I think the repair is better because you don’t have to worry about another part of your knee trying to heal too,” Karli told KITV4.
Instead of using the ligament from the injured knee to reconstruct, the Bridge-Enhanced ACL Restoration (BEAR) involves using an implant injected with the patient’s own blood.
“It’s injected with the patient’s blood because we want to add elements into the collagen or blood matrix in order to allow for healing potential, put into the notch where the anterior cruciate ligament repair is done in order to provide the environment to heal,” said Dr. Craig Ono, Orthopedic Surgeon, Shriners Children’s Hawaii.
The implant is absorbed by the body, usually within eight weeks. Karli is expected to make a full recovery between six to nine months with the help of Physical Therapy so that she can get back to her jumps and turns of cheerleading.
The BEAR Implant was pioneered by Martha Murray, M.D., founder of Miach Orthopaedics, at the Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with initial research funding provided by the NFL Players Association, Boston Children’s Hospital and the National Institutes of Health.
Cynthia is an award-winning journalist who returned to Hawaii as an Anchor/Reporter/MMJ from Houston. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a B.A. and M.B.A. DM her on IG @CynthiaYipTV to share stories.