Meniscus Replacement Surgery: Kathleen’s Story

Golden, Colorado resident Kathleen Cohan tore her meniscus on both knees during a head-on collision over 35 years ago. Although she underwent two partial meniscectomies to treat the tears, she continued to experience terrible pain in her right knee that she described as living with constant burning and stiffness.

At age 58, Kathleen received the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant—the first “artificial meniscus” designed to replace the damaged one in patients like Kathleen, who have persistent knee pain due to injured or deteriorated meniscus cartilage and are too young for a total knee replacement.

Kathleen’s story in her own words

“As an avid backcountry skier and generally active person, my knee injuries were greatly affecting my quality of life. Over the past six years, the pain in my right knee had become so severe that I had to cut down my skiing from 60 days to only two days a year. I was also unable to go hiking, rock climbing or even walk more than three miles and had to take painkillers on an almost daily basis. I’m currently working as a dental hygienist and was thrilled when one of my patients told me about the NUsurface Meniscus Implant – my knees were getting in the way of my passion for being outdoors.

Since receiving the implant in my right knee in May 2016, the constant burning pain has fully subsided. In addition to my daily leisure activities, I’m so happy to be able to return to backcountry skiing and hiking on a regular basis. I was even able to go on an adventure trip to Costa Rica, which included rough and steep walking surfaces, class IV river rafting, zip likes and hanging bridges.

Receiving the NUsurface Meniscus Implant has really helped me return to my active sports lifestyle. Avoiding joint replacement is very important to me, and I am hopeful that this implant will help me delay knee replacement for another 10 years.”

New relief for knee pain may be on the horizon

Two clinical trials are currently underway across the U.S. that may help make the “artificial meniscus” a reality, providing a new treatment option for millions of Americans with persistent knee pain caused by injured or deteriorated meniscus. The NUsurface® Meniscus Implant, which is made of medical grade plastic and inserted into the knee through a small incision, is not meant to take the place of a total knee replacement, but can serve as an opportunity to treat knee pain from injured or deteriorated meniscus cartilage and keep patients active until knee replacement surgery is a viable option. It has been used in Europe since 2008 and Israel since 2011.

Are you eligible for the clinical studies?

To be eligible for the clinical studies, you must be between the ages of 30 and 75, have pain after medial meniscus surgery and have had meniscus surgery at least six months ago.


Any patient testimonial relates an account of an individual’s opinion/response to the treatment over a short term. The testimonial is not intended to provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to how other patients may respond or achieve results. Testimonials should not be viewed as any claim and are only referenced here to assist with patient recruitment into an ongoing clinical trial. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to each individual patient and should be discussed with a clinical investigator. Any patient or physician should remember the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant is not approved in the United States. CAUTION – Investigational device. Limited by United States law to investigational use.