ACI is a treatment that is relatively new state of art procedure used to treat isolated full thickness articular cartilage defects of the knee.
Procedure: An arthroscopic evaluation of the knee joint is done and the defect is identified. The cartilage is harvested from less loaded area in the knee.
The cartilage is sent to the lab for processing the chandrocytes are isolated and are multiplied in vitro during 2 to 3 weeks.
The regenerated final amount of cells is then resent to the surgeon as a suspension.
The cells are then injected into the defect covered with a periosteum and fibrin glue.
After the procedure the patient is immobilized in a long knee brace and is not allowed to bear weight on the operated knee. Patient undergoes supervised and careful rehabilitation and Rom exercises about as out 0-30°.
Progress to 0-90° from 6 week onwards.
Partial weight bearing started after 6 weeks followed by full weight bearing in 8 weeks. Return to sports specific activities is allowed at approx 6 months with return to full sports in 9-12 months following the procedures.
ACI is quite a successful procedure with recovery rates of about 85% and allowing the patients to return to pain free activities.