Phoenix Suns Physician Treats Local Resident with Persistent Knee Pain in SUN Clinical Trial
PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TOCA (The Orthopedic Clinic Association), a one-stop resource for orthopedics in Arizona, and Active Implants, a company that develops orthopedic implant solutions, today announced that the first meniscus replacement procedures in Arizona were successfully performed by Dr. Tom Carter. TOCA is the only center in the state – and one of just 10 sites nationwide – enrolling patients with persistent knee pain caused by injured or deteriorating meniscus cartilage in the SUN trial, which is designed to assess the safety and effectiveness of the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant (pronounced “new surface”) in restoring function similar to that of a natural, healthy meniscus.
One of the first patients to receive the implant in Arizona was Robert Nowlan, a 55-year-old Anthem resident, who first tore his meniscus 17 years ago while hiking in the Grand Canyon. Although he underwent three surgeries and injection therapy to treat the injury, he experienced constant pain that limited his daily activity. Nowlan’s knee was consistently throbbing with pain whether he was walking, working or even sitting. The pain became so intense, he had to give up hobbies he loved like running, hiking and karate.
The meniscus is a tissue pad between the thigh and shin bones. Once damaged, the meniscus has a very limited ability to heal. Over 1 million partial meniscectomies to remove or repair a torn meniscus are performed in the U.S. every year, about the same as the total number of hip and knee replacement surgeries combined. However, many patients still experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery.
“There aren’t many options for patients who experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery,” said Dr. Tom Carter, orthopedic surgeon at TOCA. “We hope the NUsurface implant decreases or alleviates pain in these patients, helps them delay knee replacement surgery, and improves their level of activities.”
Nowlan received the NUsurface Meniscus Implant in October 2016 through a small incision in his knee and completed a six-week rehabilitation program. Eight months into his recovery, he is most looking forward to biking and hiking the Grand Canyon again with his family – but this time pain-free.
“My knee pain over the last 17 years had reduced my quality of life, as I was too young for knee replacement and had resigned myself to just living and working with constant pain,” Nowlan said. “A couple weeks after receiving the NUsurface Meniscus Implant, the knee pain I was used to living with was gone. It felt like I drank from the fountain of youth – I can finally walk around and do all the activities I’ve been missing out on.”
The NUsurface Meniscus Implant has been used in Europe under CE Mark since 2008 and Israel since 2011.
About the Clinical Trial
The SUN study (Safety Using NUsurface®) will enroll approximately 120 patients as part of regulatory process to gain approval from FDA to sell the device in the U.S. All patients who meet study requirements and agree to enter the trial are offered the NUsurface Meniscus Implant as treatment. Treatment with NUsurface in the SUN trial is eligible for coverage by Medicare and some private insurance companies. To be eligible for the study, 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.
About the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant
The NUsurface® Meniscus Implant is an investigational treatment for patients with persistent knee pain following medial meniscus surgery. It is made from medical grade plastic and, as a result of its unique materials, composite structure and design, does not require fixation to bone or soft tissues. The NUsurface Meniscus Implant mimics the function of the natural meniscus and redistributes loads transmitted across the knee joint. Clinical trials are underway in the U.S., Europe and Israel to verify the safety and effectiveness of the NUsurface Meniscus Implant.
About TOCA (The Orthopedic Clinic Association)
TOCA (The Orthopedic Clinic Association) has served the Valley with orthopedic care since it was founded in 1949. TOCA is a one-stop resource for orthopedics in Arizona, led by nationally recognized, established orthopedic physicians who are passionate about quality care. TOCA brings expertise in orthopedics and sports medicine, numerous sub-specialties, physical therapy and hand therapy. Each TOCA Physician brings their own passion and integrity to a common purpose, honoring TOCA’s mission statement: “Serving our Patients through Innovative and Comprehensive Orthopedic Care.” Our physicians and staff are dedicated to providing for each person’s needs and ensuring the highest level of care for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. For more information, visit tocamd.com.
About Active Implants
Active Implants, LLC develops orthopedic implant solutions that complement the natural biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system, allowing patients to maintain or return to an active lifestyle. Active Implants is privately held with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. European offices are in Driebergen, The Netherlands, with R&D facilities in Netanya, Israel. For more information, visit activeimplants.com.
CAUTION Investigational device. Limited by United States law to investigational use.