Meniscus injuries are one of the most common knee problems—and sources of knee pain—in the United States, affecting more than one million people every year. Now, patients of Summit Medical Group Orthopedics have a new option for repairing a meniscus tear: the Ceterix® Orthopaedics NovoStitch® Pro Meniscal Repair System.
“The NovoStitch Pro has been of great benefit to my practice and my patients,” says David Abrutyn, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Summit Medical Group Orthopedics. “I am excited to introduce new treatment options. In the past, I’ve been limited to meniscectomies for certain tears, but now I can offer my patients a second treatment to relieve their knee pain.”
What Is the NovoStitch Pro?
The NovoStitch Pro is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared tool for orthopedic surgeons that allows them to more precisely and less invasively perform meniscus repairs. A meniscectomy—removal of the damaged parts of the meniscus—has long been thought to be better tolerated and provide faster recovery than a meniscal repair, but that sentiment has been changing. Studies suggest that meniscectomies put people at risk for developing knee osteoarthritis, and more than a third of people who have had a meniscectomy will need a total knee replacement within five years.
Who Is a Candidate for the NovoStitch?
Candidates for meniscus repair via the NovoStitch Pro system are those who have a complex meniscus tear previously considered to be better treated by a meniscectomy. These include:
- Horizontal tears
- Radial tears
- Root tears
- Vertical tears
The NovoStitch Pro allows orthopedic surgeons to work within tight spaces, opening up the possibility of repairing these tears instead of simply cutting them out.
How Does the NovoStitch Pro Work?
The NovoStitch Pro is a tool to facilitate arthroscopic meniscus repairs. It looks somewhat like a handheld sewing machine and, in essence, that’s what it is. The NovoStitch Pro has a handle with a trigger and a suturing extension on the end, which enables the surgeon to maneuver the device into tight spaces.
The big difference between NovoStitch Pro and other tools is that NovoStitch Pro allows surgeons to stitch around the whole meniscus in what’s known as a circumferential compression stitch. This allows the two parts of the tear to meet evenly all around, increasing the chance that the tear will heal more thoroughly.
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
Meniscal repairs nearly always take longer to heal than meniscectomies. The meniscus has very little blood supply, which means that it takes a long time to heal on its own.
However, keeping the meniscus intact offers a variety of benefits over removing part of it. Because there is much less loss of tissue in a meniscal repair, the repaired meniscus provides more even shock absorption to the knee.
“NovoStitch Pro opens up meniscal repairs for more patients and more types of meniscus tears. Having a choice beyond living with the pain or trimming the tear away will be of benefit to many of my patients.”
If you have experienced a meniscus tear, schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons to discuss your options.