James Dirico has a very active life with his wife, their three young children, and a physically demanding job. That’s why, when chronic knee pain from an old meniscus tear continued to bother him after surgery and scopes, he turned to new technology.
“I’d come home at the end of the night and my knee would be achy and sore. I spend a lot of time kneeling, bending, and climbing at work. Every time I would kneel down, I would have sharp, shooting pains. I have two daughters who are three and six years old, and a four month old son. I look at my children, and I want to be able to play in the yard. I want to be able to play baseball and shoot hoops with them. I knew if I didn’t try something new my knee would eventually be bone on bone.”
Dirico learned about the Venus Trial of the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant from NEBH orthopedic surgeon Brian McKeon, MD, who has been treating Dirico for his knee pain for several years. The study, which is underway at just ten sites in the United States, is a meniscus implant that mimics the function of the natural meniscus and is made from medical grade polymers.
“I went online and did some research on the implant. The implant has been used in Europe since 2008, and so far, the results are outstanding. I talked to Dr. McKeon a lot, and asked him a lot of questions. He spent a lot of time with me. His care feels very personal; he doesn’t make you feel like you are just another number. After talking to him, I thought that this was my best chance to have the best quality of life and to be able to play and be active with my children.”
Dirico was randomly selected for the surgical care group of the study, and was scheduled for surgery.
“When I went for the last x-ray before the surgery, they put this little metal ball into the space where the meniscus is going to be, which helps the doctors figure what size implant they’re going to use. Dr. McKeon showed me the actual meniscus implant, which was helpful to see in person as opposed to seeing it online or in a diagram.”
After surgery, Dirico is now on the road to recovery.
“My wife and family have been so supportive throughout this entire process, and they are already noticing a big improvement. My daughter saw me walking the other day and said ‘Dad, your knee is all better!’ I still have a lot of work to do, but I am really enthusiastic and looking forward to getting my life back.”