At the Orthopedic Research Clinic of Alaska (ORCA), our interdisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, physician’s assistants, and medical assistants are constantly looking for ways to advance our clinical care and get you feeling, moving, and living as healthy as possible. We were excited to hear of new research coming out about MACI™, and are dedicated to bringing this and other evidence-based approaches to care to our community.
What Is MACI™, And What Is It Used For?
Your knee joint–like almost every joint in your body–contains a layer of cartilage that is important for pain-free movement and mobility. In some people, this cartilage begins to wear down in certain areas, which can cause significant pain, stiffness, and impaired function. When conservative treatments (like physical therapy and rehabilitation) don’t provide sufficient relief, surgical repair of the knee cartilage may be necessary.
MACI™ stands for matrix-applied characterized autologous cultured chondrocytes–how’s that for a mouthful! But don’t let the wordy science get you down. MACI™ is a new type of implantation product being used to help people find relief from their chronic knee pain caused by worn down cartilage. MACI™ technology uses your own healthy cartilage cells (first removed and cultured during a short arthroscopic procedure) and re-implants them into your painful knee where they can help rebuild your cartilage.
Is MACI™ Right For Me?
MACI™ and other similar procedures seem to most effective for younger and relatively active patients. The ideal candidate has knee pain and stiffness caused by isolated areas of cartilage breakdown, rather than a total “bone on bone” arthritic condition.
If you have knee pain, our team can take you through a thorough physical examination and patient history questionnaire to determine if MACI™ is right for you.
What Are The Benefits Of MACI™ Compared To Other Procedures?
Before MACI™ was introduced, the standard of treatment for knee cartilage repair surgery was a procedure known as microfracture bone marrow stimulation procedure (MFX). Recent studies have shown that people treated with MACI™ had much better improvements in pain, daily function, and knee-related quality of life measures compared to people treated with MFX. The studies also show that MACI™ does not pose any greater risk for adverse effects compared to the usual risks of the standard MFX procedure.
Do You Have Knee Pain Or Other Joint Problems? Our Anchorage Orthopedic Team Can Help!
Whether you have pain and dysfunction in your hip, knee, ankle, or other joint, or Anchorage orthopedic team will work with you closely to determine the most appropriate course of treatment to meet your needs. We always take the time to review with you all the considerations necessary, and our team follows up with you on a regular basis to ensure that your recovery and return to health goes as smoothly as possible.