New Cartilage Procedure Approved By FDA
Biloine W. Young • Tue, March 14th, 2017
Christian Lattermann, M.D., director for Cartilage Repair and Restoration in the University of Kentucky Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, has become the first physician in Kentucky and the Midwest to perform a Matrix Associated Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI). The technology for this procedure is the first new, cartilage technology to have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1996.
The MACI technology utilizes the patients’ own cartilage cells to create a MACI scaffold which can be glued into the cartilage defect. This technique can be done through small incisions. Less operating time is required and, according to Lattermann, patients recover more quickly. While the technology is new in the United States he says that it has a 10-year track record in Europe.
For the past decade Lattermann has worked to help the MACI procedure make its way through regulatory agencies to the point where it could receive FDA approval. At the same time Lattermann has also been performing more than 150 similar Autologous Chondrocyte Implantations, a less sophisticated version of the new procedure.
“We have been on the forefront of treating these defects for several years," Latterman said. "Every year a couple of thousand patients in the U.S. require a true cartilage restoration and we have become a major referral center for these patients and at this point regularly serve patients from Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and parts of Ohio and Indiana."