Video: MACI Procedure Brings the Matrix to Knee Repair

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By News Team on March 4, 2022

When Lattrell Wells injured his knee, running and other normal activities became a challenge.

"There's a multitude of things that we can do before we even think about surgery," said Sports Medicine specialist Michael O'Malley, M.D.

But it soon became clear that Lattrell's cartilage would require just that.

Young, healthy and active, he was a perfect candidate for the MACI procedure (matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation), a two-step procedure that would use his own cartilage and bone cells to repair his knee. 

"We actually harvest a small portion of the patient's cartilage and bone cells," said Dr. O'Malley. "The lab then grows his own chondrocytes, or cartilage cells, it comes back to us in a little sheet and six weeks after that initial surgery, we re-implant the cartilage in a second surgery."

Among the benefits of the MACI procedure is this notable one: "This the only option where there’s virtually no risk of any kind of graft rejection or anything of that nature," said Dr.O'Malley.

Lattrell smiles when looking back on the procedure.

"I liked Dr. O'Malley's confidence," he said. "He was kind of excited to work on this procedure so it gave me a lot of confidence and reassurance that everything was going to be good."

Quickly back on his feet, he believes that confidence in the MACI procedure, Dr. O'Malley's approach and the Carilion Clinic Orthopaedic team is well placed.

"They go above and beyond to get you back to where you want to be," he said.

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