1-30-2017 – by Will Carroll
“It’s a game changer.”
That phrase is often just hype, but when you hear it come from not one, but four of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country, it’s time to take note.
True changes in sports medicine come about once in a generation. Tommy John surgery, the arthroscope, the use of orthobiologic agents like PRP — these innovations are now part of the sports medicine landscape, and regularly help athletes come back from injuries that were career-altering or even career-ending not that long ago.
The latest new method isn’t on the drawing board; it’s in athletes already. And we’re about to see a lot more of it.
The innovation is really a product, not a surgery. It’s called SutureTape and it’s made by Arthrex, the large medical device manufacturer, after consultation with some of the top orthopedic surgeons. It’s use in surgery is called “InternalBrace.” The tape is affixed during surgery to brace a ligament or reconstruction as it heals, allowing early load and sometimes even return to play prior to complete biologic healing.
Many of the surgeons who consulted Arthrex on the development of SutureTape were on the stage at the recent Lewis Yocum Baseball Medicine Conference, run by the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic and super-surgeon Neil ElAttrache’s staff. A discussion among ElAttrache, Dr. John Conway of the Ben Hogan Clinic in Fort Worth, Dr. Orr Limpisvasti and Dr. Steven Shin of Kerlan-Jobe showed just how much potential this has.