Keeping your knees healthy is imperative for an active and pain-free lifestyle. If you struggle with ongoing joint pain, particularly knee pain, you may want to consider the MACI Procedure. This procedure is an advanced orthopedic solution for knee pain and a revolutionary approach in the field of orthopedics. It uses stem cell therapy to repair damaged cartilage in the knee which is the likely culprit of your pain.
What is MACI?
MACI, or Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, is a state-of-the-art orthopedic treatment designed for alleviating knee pain caused by cartilage damage. MACI fixes the root problem causing your pain, unlike many other treatments that put a band-aid over symptoms.
MACI is a 2-step process that first involves extracting a small sample of healthy cartilage cells from a non-weight-bearing part of your knee. These cells are sent to a laboratory where they are specially treated and multiply.
About a month later, these newly grown cells implanted back into the knee, covering, or replacing the area of damage. The healthy cartilage will continue to proliferate once implanted into your knee.
This unique approach combines stem cell therapy with surgical precision. Using cells from your own body minimizes rejection and increases the chance of success of the procedure. By focusing on repairing the root cause of the problem, MACI offers a promising option for those seeking long-term relief from joint pain.
Do You Qualify?
MACI is an appropriate choice for most people, however, there are some factors to consider. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The following was taken directly from the official MACI website regarding safety concerns to consider when contemplating undergoing this procedure. As always, discuss these with your surgeon if you are considering this treatment.
MACI should not be used if you:
Consult your doctor if you have cancer in the area of the cartilage biopsy or implant as the safety of MACI is not known in those cases.
Conditions that existed before your surgery, including meniscus tears, joint or ligament instability, or alignment problems should be evaluated and treated before or at the same time as the MACI implant.
MACI is not recommended if you are pregnant.
MACI has not been studied in patients younger than 18 or over 55 years of age.
Common side effects include joint pain, tendonitis, back pain, joint swelling, and joint effusion.
More serious side effects include joint pain, cartilage or meniscus injury, treatment failure, and osteoarthritis.”1
What to Expect After MACI
Recovery from MACI is easier, less painful, and requires less downtime than many other orthopedic surgeries. After undergoing the MACI Procedure, patients can expect a short time of rest and reduced activity.
After waking up from surgery, your leg will be locked in a brace which you will need to wear for about 6 weeks. Full motion and weight-bearing of the knee without the brace is expected within 8 to 12 weeks.
The initial post-surgery rehab will focus on regaining strength and range of motion. That will happen quickly, and you should be back to functional actional activities of daily life, walking and driving with ease in 3 months.
The next 3 months will encompass a return to more intense physical activities that are still low-impact, such as yoga, Pilates, and swimming. The final 3 months of the rehab process should see you returning to your pre-injury level of activity.
MACI offers hope to those who thought there may be none. Make a resolution to fix your nagging knee pain once and for all this New Year’s. Consider this innovative approach and reclaim an active and pain-free lifestyle.
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