High impact sports can be murder on knee joints. Among all the joints in your body, the knee joint supports the most weight. Add to that the stress and pressure of high impact sports, and you have ripe conditions for knee injury.
Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians offers a team of experienced and skilled orthopedic surgeons who perform ACI surgery and other advanced treatments for knee injuries. ACI, or autologous chondrocyte implantation, is a procedure that treats areas of cartilage damage in the knee. Without cartilage in the knee, the joint cannot move smoothly and it becomes painful during movement. If not treated, damaged cartilage can lead to degenerative arthritis, instability and eventual knee replacement surgery.
ACI is a sophisticated procedure that requires skilled surgical expertise. To ensure the outcome is successful, we will ensure you fit the ideal profile for ACI surgery, which includes patients with the following criteria:
- Small, focal areas of cartilage damage (not widespread arthritis)
- Pain or swelling that limits activity
- Stable knee with no associated ligament damage
- Weight appropriate for height (not obese)
- Failed non-surgical treatments
Although ACI is a highly effective procedure, it does require intensive rehabilitation that patients should be aware of and prepared for. At Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians, we value the importance of educating our patients on the details of their condition as well as what to expect during their treatment and recovery.
How is ACI performed?
The basic idea of an ACI procedure is to take a few cartilage cells from the knee, grow them in the lab, and implant them into the area of cartilage damage for successful restoration.
In more detail, ACI can be explained as a two-step procedure. The first step involves arthroscopy to identify cartilage damage and collect cartilage cells. Once the cells have been sent to a laboratory and grown, the second surgical step of implantation is scheduled. During implantation, thick tissue over the shin bone (a periosteal patch) is harvested. The periosteal patch is then sewn securely over the area of damaged cartilage and the cultured cartilage cells are injected underneath the patch.
To learn if you are a candidate for ACI to restore your knee cartilage, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our elite orthopedic surgeons. At Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians, we welcome the opportunity to restore your knee health and help you regain the active and pain-free lifestyle you deserve at any age.