There are a multitude of reasons that your knee may be causing you pain. If you have not experienced a traumatic injury of some sort, whether that be from a car accident or sports for instance, your knee pain is most likely a result of years of wear and tear on the joint leading to osteoarthritis. With this finding, there will most likely be cartilage damage in the knee leading to a decrease in the smoothness of movement of the knee. Cartilage damage may also be a result of traumatic injuries previously mentioned.
Accurate diagnosis is key. Determining a correct diagnosis for your knee pain will be vital in planning what the best knee injury treatment plan will be. Diagnosing the cause of your knee injury symptoms may involve imaging, such as an MRI or x-ray.
Sometimes, conservative treatment may be sufficient to relieve you of your knee injury symptoms. This will most likely involve the suggestion of taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), steroid or stem-cell injections, or a course of physical therapy which will help to stretch tight musculature as well as strengthen surrounding muscles. Conservative intervention may be a combination of all of these things or just one or two of them. The hope is that these interventions will be enough to relieve some stiffness in the knee and increase range of motion.
Other times, however, the above therapies will not be 100% successful in relieving your knee injury symptoms and further, more involved treatment may be recommended. A procedure that Dr. Burke performs for knee injuries involves stem cell therapy.
Unlike stem cell injections, the MACI® (Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) Procedure directly addresses the root of the problem. MACI® is an autologous stem-cell treatment. Autologous means that your own cells are used.
Healthy cartilage is extracted from a non-weight-bearing portion of your knee, then shipped to a lab where chondrocytes (production cells of a healthy cartilage matrix) from that sample are specially treated and encouraged to grow.
When deemed ready, the new cells are implanted back into your knee covering the area of damaged cartilage causing pain.
The MACI® Procedure is both less invasive and tends to provide better outcomes with less downtime than previous treatments for similar conditions including microfracture. It is a less-invasive procedure that does not require internal suture fixation. The new implant is adhered using a fibrin sealant.
Better, pain free, functional movement is expected 6 months later - shown in a trial conducted by SUMMIT. MACI® can be used for cartilaginous defects of any shape and size, are more flexible, with less feeling that a foreign object was placed in the knee.
Dr. Burke will make an accurate diagnosis first before recommending this procedure. He will not make this recommendation if he doesn’t feel that you are an appropriate candidate and this will not provide you with the best outcomes. Reasons that this procedure may not be recommended for your knee pain are if:
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