MACI® Procedure

The MACI® Procedure (autologous cultured chondrocytes on porcine collagen membrane) is a specialized procedure for the treatment of the knees. It is a surgical option indicated for cartilage defects in the knee. When more conservative interventions such as physical therapy or steroid injections have failed to relieve pain, the procedure allows the surgeon to implant the patient’s own normal articular cartilage. It is completed by harvesting a collection of the patient’s own (autologous) healthy cartilage taken from a non-weight bearing position. This autologous cartilage contains chondrocyte cells which are considered to be the building blocks of cartilage. These cells are then placed onto a membrane of collagen which encourages expansion of these cells, and in turn, new healthy cartilage. Your surgeon will most likely remove the area of damaged tissue on the affected knee. Next, the MACI® implant will be surgically placed at the location of cartilage damage and absorbed back into your own tissue. Multiple MACI® implants may be used at one time.

The amount of implanted MACI® material will differ depending on the size and shape of your damaged cartilage. The MACI® film is able to be cut down by the surgeon to match the size and shape of the damage to ensure the impaired area is completely covered.

Is The MACI® Procedure Right For You? Symptoms of cartilage loss in the knee

Cartilage damage may be the result of any injury to the knee. This type of damage can be caused by pushing and straining beyond the range of motion that is considered normal for the knee. You may experience cartilage damage from normal wear and tear of the joint or excessive wear and tear on the joint from overuse. Weak muscles can also lead to a lessening of the protective nature of a strong joint and may result in cartilage damage. Whatever the source of damage, the symptoms that you may experience can be any or all of the following:

● Pain in the knee
● A loss of range of motion
● Swelling
● A feeling of lack of stability in the knee joint

An accurate diagnosis as to the cause of your knee pain is paramount in determining if this procedure might be of benefit you.

If you are interested in discussing the MACI® Procedure with Dr. Burke, here are some questions you may want to ask:

1. What is the source of my knee pain?
2. Will I be able to resume the activities I enjoy?
3. Why haven’t previous surgical procedures and treatments been effective for my knee pain?
4. What kind of recovery time is expected after this procedure?
5. What other treatments are available to help provide pain relief?
6. What treatments can help restore my active lifestyle over the long term?
7. What are my next steps?

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MACI® Procedure Limitations

The safety and long-term clinical benefit of the MACI® Surgery has only been studied in the knee joint. It was determined that this procedure is far more effective at reducing pain and improving function in the knee when compared to another commonly used procedure called microfracture.

The safety and effectiveness of the MACI® Knee Surgery have not been proven for patients 55 years and older.


MACI® should not be used if you:

● Are allergic to any known antibiotics, or materials that come from cow, pig, or ox
● Have severe osteoarthritis of the knee, other severe inflammatory conditions, infections in the bone joint and other surrounding tissue, or blood clotting conditions
● Have had knee surgery in the past 6 months, not including surgery for obtaining a cartilage biopsy or a surgical procedure to prepare your knee for a MACI® implant
● Cannot follow Dr. Burke’s prescribed rehabilitation program after your MACI® surgery

Consult with Dr. Burke Orthopedics if you have cancer in the area of the cartilage biopsy or implant, as the safety of MACI® is not known in these cases. Conditions that existed before your surgery, including meniscus tears, joint instability or alignment problems, should be evaluated and treated before or at the same time as the MACI® Implant Procedure.

MACI® is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

MACI® has not been studied in patients younger than 18 or over 55 years of age.

Find out if you are a good candidate for the MACI® Treatment Procedure by calling Dr. Burke Orthopedics at (713) 436-3488 to Request a Consultation Appointment.

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