Springtime makes most people feel refreshed, with a new sense of vigor after hunkering down all winter. It’s a perfect time to check in with your body and address knee pain and other joint pain that you may have been putting off. Damaged cartilage is often the culprit behind knee pain. The Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI) procedure was developed specifically for the treatment of cartilage damage. Below we will discuss what MACI is, who is a candidate, and how it works.

What is MACI?

MACI is an innovative orthopedic procedure designed to treat knee pain by repairing damaged cartilage with stem cell therapy. While traditional treatments for knee pain can be effective, they are mostly band-aid treatments that merely alleviate symptoms. MACI fixes the root cause of the problem by regenerating healthy cartilage tissue. Again, damage to your cartilage within the joint is often the culprit behind knee pain. This damage may be caused by an acute injury or a long-standing issue.

Am I a Candidate?

If you have been experiencing persistent knee pain, particularly if you know that it is because of cartilage damage, you may be a candidate for MACI. An appropriate candidate for MACI has tried conservative treatments such as physical therapy, and steroids without achieving satisfactory relief.

There are a few criteria that you should keep in mind before considering the MACI Procedure. These are:

1. Age: MACI is proven to be safe and effective for 18- to 55-year-olds.

2. Location: Cartilage damage located in the following historically hard-to-treat areas have been efficaciously treated with MACI:

a. Lateral femoral condyle

b. Medial femoral condyle with or without bone involvement

c. Patella - often felt as kneecap pain

d. Trochlea This sample is then placed on a porcine collagen membrane and specially treated to encourage new growth.

3. Allergies: If you know that you have an allergy to antibiotics or other materials derived from pigs, you should not have the MACI Procedure.

How Does it Work?

The MACI procedure uses stem cell therapy to harness the body's natural healing and regenerative capacity to repair damaged cartilage. MACI minimizes the risk of rejection because the procedure involves utilizing the patient's own cells to assist in the process of regrowing new cartilage.

During the MACI procedure, healthy cartilage cells, (chondrocytes), are extracted from the patient's knee. These cells are then specially treated and multiplied in a laboratory, where they grow into new, fresh cartilage. Next, the new cartilage is implanted into the knee, replacing or covering the damaged cartilage.

The implanted cartilage will integrate with the surrounding tissue, which restores the smooth surface of the joint. Function, range of motion, and smoothness of movement will all be dramatically improved after this procedure.

Scheduling an Appointment with Dr. Burke Orthopedics

Take a proactive approach toward addressing your joint pain this spring. The MACI procedure offers renewed hope for those struggling who have tried many other treatments to no avail. We would love to discuss it further with you. To learn more, schedule a consultation with us by calling (713) 436-3488, individuals can.

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