UAB Hospital first in Alabama to offer new ACL surgery
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s an injury no athlete wants to get, but ACL tears remain one of the most common, and more serious injuries they risk each time they play.
One local hospital is helping pave the way for a new procedure that repairs ACL tears and that may increase an athlete’s chances of returning to original levels of play.
“It’s a very exciting time to be in sports medicine just because the field is changing rapidly,” says Dr. Amit Momaya, the Chief of Sports Medicine at UAB Hospital.
Dr. Momaya has had a hand in not only advancing ACL repair, but bringing the new surgery to the state.
“I’ve been involved in the research studies for the last seven years or so, and so that’s kind of what helped us introduce that technology to Alabama, and of course we were the first to implement in a patient,” Dr. Momaya says.
In the past, ACL tears have been replaced with a tendon from another part of the body. The new surgery uses a device that holds the patients blood to form a natural clot.
“This new technology repairs the ACL and allows its body to heal itself back to the wall of where the ACL belongs, and so that’s a lot less morbid surgery, it’s less invasive and the patient has less weakness ultimately because of that,” Dr. Momaya says.
The new surgery is not only less invasive, it could also help athletes return to their full level of performance.
“About 63% across the nation make it back to the same level of sport and level of play after an ACL, but one of the things we think will help with return to play is one, we’re not weakening the knee by removing their patella tendon or quadricep tendon so we think the strength in that knee is gonna be better when they do return to sport,” Dr. Momaya says.
Dr. Momaya says it’s also rewarding for UAB to blaze a trail for other hospitals to offer across the state.
“Other hospitals, other physicians around the community have reached out to me, ready to learn more about the new procedure and see if they can get trained on how to put this in for their patients, so I think UAB does help this implant branch out to other local hospitals in Alabama,” he says.
Since being introduced at the end of August, Dr. Momaya says UAB has already performed a few dozen of the surgeries.
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