ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) is a procedure that provides you and your doctor an option to repair articular cartilage injuries by implanting your own (“Autologous”) cultured cartilage cells (Chondrocytes) in damaged areas of your knee.
Carticel has demonstrated important benefits in patients with damaged articular cartilage. Carticel is indicated for the repair of symptomatic, cartilaginous defects of the joint surface, caused by acute or repetitive trauma, in patients who have had an inadequate response to a prior arthroscopic or other surgical repair procedure. Carticel is not indicated for the treatment of cartilage damage associated with osteoarthritis.
The unique advantage of ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, or Carticel) is that we can now, for the first time, repair injury to the joint surface back to nearly the original Hyaline Cartilage. A few thousand cells are harvested from the non-weight bearing area of the joint. They are then grown under strict conditions and sterile procedures. Then, in a second operative procedure, a piece of the lining of the bone or another allograph biologic material is transposed to cover the defect. The cells are then implanted under this lid and into the closed space thus created.