MACI is the current evolution of the technique Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) initially developed in 1994.
Once the decision is made to consider MACI, there are several steps:
- Your surgeon will perform a diagnostic knee arthroscopy and obtain tiny cartilage biopsies.
- Vericel receives the cartilage cells (chondrocytes) and begins the cell culture process, expanding them and placing them onto a collagen membrane. (This process usually takes 4-6 weeks.)
- Your surgeon implants the MACI membrane, also correcting any other issues at the same time, such as ligament reconstruction or osteotomy.
- Once implanted, your cells begin to create cartilage repair tissue to regenerate the areas of the defects.
- A customized physical therapy program, incorporating home use of continuous passive motion CPM device, will facilitate your recovery process.