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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Swiss develop new form of knee surgery

BERN, Switzerland, July 4 (UPI) -- A Swiss medical team says its technique for treating torn anterior cruciate ligaments in the knee provides quicker healing and more stability.

A torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, most often is treated by grafting a tendon from another part of the body. Replacement tendons, however, are never as good as the original ACL, which acts like an antenna and collects information about where the knee is about to move, Dr. Stefan Eggli of Bern University Hospital said.

Eglli's technique involves helping the patient's own ACL grow back by stabilizing the knee with a spring that is placed inside a small screw in the shinbone. The mechanism stabilizes the torn ligament at the proper position for it to heal, the hospital said in a release Saturday.

"You can still move around and walk normally and with this implant the knee is not unstable anymore," Eggli explained.

Healing of the ACL is boosted by clotting some of the patient's blood and placing it around the injured ACL, he said.

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