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Autologous chondrocyte implantation. MACI technique

  • By twopix
  • 21 March 2015

Articular cartilage lesions in the knee lead to osteoarthritis; this will lead to total destruction of the joint, often requiring the replacement of the joint with metal implants. The main issue in dealing with cartilage lesions is that cartilage cannot heal itself, especially when the lesion is larger than 2-3 cm2. The state of the art intervention for this problem is the autologous chondrocyte implantation. Autologous means that the chondrocytes come from the same patient where they will be implanted. Up until recently this procedure was performed in two stages: 1. Arthroscopy of the knee, identification of the lesion, harvest of healthy chondrocytes from a non-weight bearing area, and transfer of the chondrocytes in specialized laboratories where they are cultivated, and 2. Arthrotomy of the knee, and implantation of the cultivated chondrocytes in the lesion area some weeks after the first procedure.
Today, a novice procedure allows us to perform the implantation in one stage. During the same procedure the chondrocytes are harvested and cultivated inside the operating room, and are subsequently implanted in the lesion. TheMIS team is the first worldwide to have performed this procedure arthroscopically only, without the need for an open knee arthrotomy, which reduces the length of hospital stay, and speeds up rehabilitation of the patient post-operatively.