Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin First in Midwest to Offer Innovative BEAR® Implant to Treat ACL Tears

Implant is First Innovation in ACL Tear Treatment in 30+ Years; Enables Injured ACL to Heal Itself


Milwaukee, WI – December 14, 2021– Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin (OHOW) is the first in Midwest to offer the BEAR® Implant for treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, one of the most common knee injuries in the U.S. The BEAR Implant is the first medical advancement to enable the body to heal its own torn ACL. This new approach is a paradigm shift from the current standard of care – reconstruction that replaces the ACL with a graft – and is the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in more than 30 years. 

Every year, approximately 400,000 ACL injuries occur in the U.S. A torn ACL does not heal without treatment, resulting in ACL reconstruction being one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the U.S. Yet the procedure has drawbacks; some procedures require two separate incisions, and some people who undergo reconstruction are unable to return to the same level of daily activities or sports. 

“There are a number of advantages to restoring a ligament instead of replacing it, and the BEAR Implant is an exciting medical technology that is the first to clinically demonstrate that it enables healing of the patient’s torn ACL while maintaining the natural knee anatomy,” said OHOW CEO, Brandon Goldbeck.  “Our facility is well-positioned to serve the patient through the entire recovery process.  From expert surgical care to personalized physical therapy following surgery, OHOW has you covered.”

During an ACL reconstruction, the surgeon completely removes the remaining torn ACL and reconstructs it with either a tendon from the patient’s own leg (called an autograft) or a deceased donor (called an allograft). As with any surgery, ACL reconstruction has certain risks. About half of people who receive patellar tendon grafts experience pain while kneeling, and those who receive hamstring grafts have persistent weakness – as much as a 50% deficit at two years after surgery.

Unlike reconstruction, the BEAR Implant does not require a second surgical wound site to remove a healthy tendon from another part of the leg or the use of a donor tendon. The BEAR Implant acts as a bridge to help ends of the torn ACL heal together. The surgeon injects a small amount of the patient’s own blood into the implant and inserts it between the torn ends of the ACL in a minimally invasive procedure. The combination of the BEAR Implant and the patient’s blood enables the body to heal the torn ends of the ACL back together while maintaining the ACL’s original attachments to the femur and tibia. As the ACL heals, the BEAR Implant is resorbed by the body, within approximately eight weeks.

Dan Goebel, Father of 16 year old patient Max Goebel states; “After hearing the news no parent wants to hear about their student athlete, ‘your son has torn his ACL’, I immediately researched the best possible solution available for a basketball and football come back.  I am so very grateful that two world class hospitals could collaborate to offer the BEAR implant repair locally in Wisconsin.  A gracious thank you to Dr. Rory Wright and Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin for working with Boston Children’s Hospital to make this happen. I look forward to Max playing football and basketball for Cedarburg High School again soon. Go Bulldogs!”

The BEAR Implant was granted De Novo Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is indicated for skeletally mature patients at least 14 years of age with a complete rupture of the ACL, as confirmed by MRI. Patients must have an ACL stump attached to the tibia to facilitate the restoration. The BEAR device must be implanted within 50 days of injury. Patients should discuss their individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment with their surgeon. The BEAR Implant has the same potential medical/surgical complications as other orthopedic surgical procedures, including ACL reconstruction. These include the risk of re-tear, infection, knee pain, meniscus injury and limited range of motion.  

The procedure was recently made available to the general public and its use has been very limited to date.  OHOW has begun to provide the procedure utilizing the BEAR implant as multi-center studies are underway to further investigate the procedure and its long term outcome. Early results are limited and of short term duration but have been encouraging.


Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin is located at 475 W. River Woods Pkwy in Glendale, WI  53212.  It may sound simple, but it’s the foundation of the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin’s three critical success factors: Quality, Patient Satisfaction and Staff Satisfaction. We provide the highest quality care to each and every patient at our hospital and clinics. We ensure that our patients are satisfied with all aspects of their care. And we surround our patients with expert staff that are encouraged and appreciated for their crucial role at OHOW. From the moment you arrive until your rehabilitation is complete, we want you to feel confident in your care because above all else, we have an uncommon focus on you.  OHOW has seven locations throughout SE Wisconsin for your physical therapy needs.  www.ohow.org



Brandon G. Goldbeck

Chief Executive Officer