The Stone Clinic in San Francisco presented that the Clinic has implanted the first available meniscus templates in California. This opens up a whole new field of meniscus reconstruction. The implant permits segmental rebuilding of portions missing or damaged meniscus cartilage, the fibrous shock absorber of the knee.

Till date, doctors have only been able to remove, suture repair or replace the whole meniscus with cadaver tissue as there was no method of rebuilding or regenerating missing and torn segments.

Three patients who received the first implants are a women in her sixties, who hurt her knee ballroom dancing, a 26-year-old male who hurt his knee surfing and a 46-year-old chiropractor, who hurt his knee weightlifting were able to resume physical therapy on day one after surgery.

This new implant is similar to a rose trellis, acting as a guide for the new tissue growth, said Kevin R. Stone MD, who heads the Stone Clinic. The implant temporarily replaces the damaged meniscus and literally becomes part of the body. There are no artificial devices. The collagen implant is a temporary template and serves as a scaffold for tissue re-growth.

Many healthy knees patients who are missing a portion of their meniscus will benefit from a segmental re-growth, Dr. Stone said. This device is engineered for patients missing meniscus tissue. For difficult-to-repair meniscus tears, such as bucket-handle tears and horizontal cleavage tears with missing volume it is a great augmentation device.

This new implant that Stone calls a regeneration template was invented by him in 1986 and used in his first human patient trial in 1990 and took a lengthy course through the FDA. The implant sold by ReGen Biologics Inc. as Menaflex received recent press for the way the FDA handled the approval process.