Maci Procedure: Showing Knees with Damaged Cartilage Some Love

Knee pain is a challenging issue. Fixing it doesn’t have to be. Joint pain in the knee often stems from damaged cartilage. Traditional treatments for knee pain often fall short, and innovative procedures like MACI (Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) offer renewed hope for individuals who have tried other, more conventional knee pain treatments that have failed to relieve discomfort. In this article, we explore the world of MACI; its purpose, target audience, and the surgical and recovery process. We will also discuss how you can determine if you qualify for this revolutionary procedure.

What is MACI?

MACI is a groundbreaking procedure in the realm of orthopedics with the sole purpose of addressing knee pain that arises from damaged cartilage. It is stem cell therapy that involves using the patient’s own cells to regenerate and repair damaged cartilage in the knee.
Specialized cells responsible for cartilage production, called chondrocytes, are extracted from your knee. These stem cells are then cultivated in a laboratory, grown on a specialized matrix, and then implanted back into the knee, covering, or replacing the area of damage.
The advantage of MACI is that this procedure focuses on addressing the root cause of the problem and restoring the natural structure and function of the cartilage. This offers a more long-term solution for people suffering from chronic knee pain. This procedure harnesses the body’s regenerative capabilities, which is the secret sauce for long-term pain relief.

Who is MACI Intended For?

MACI is designed specifically for individuals experiencing knee pain due to cartilage damage. Conditions like osteochondritis dissecans, focal chondral defects, and other cartilage injuries that have not responded to other, more conservative treatments are perfect candidates for MACI.
Orthopedics specialists assess a patient’s suitability for MACI whether a patient is a suitable candidate for MACI based on the size, location, and nature of the cartilage damage. Age is also a determinant as this procedure has not yet been proven effective for those outside the age range of 18-55 years old.

What is the Surgery & Recovery Process Going to Look Like?

The MACI Procedure is performed arthroscopically. Arthroscopic surgeries are less invasive and promote a quicker recovery. The damaged cartilage is removed completely or significantly cleaned up. Next, the MACI implant is precisely placed over or in place of the damaged cartilage. Your MACI implant will resorb onto your knee joint and provide fresh new cartilaginous protection.
The recovery process after surgery involves a gradual return to normal activities. Physical therapy plays a crucial role, aiding in returning your knee joint to optimal strength, range of motion, and function. Patients are advised to follow a customized rehabilitation plan. If you know that you will be unable to adhere to a specific rehabilitation plan, you may not be a candidate for MACI at this time.

Reaching Out to Dr. Burke. Orthopedics to See If You Qualify

Dr. Burke is a renowned orthopedic surgeon who can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine if MACI is the right fit for you.
Dr. Burke will assess your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and may order additional diagnostic tests such as imaging techniques like MRI or X-rays to evaluate the extent of cartilage damage.
If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, schedule a consultation with us by calling (713) 436-3488.

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