The latest advancement in surgical technology allows the harvesting of a patient's own cells for use in repairing damaged or defective cartilage. Dr. Longobardi is the only surgeon in Bergen County to perform this procedure.
have pain and mobility restrictions
have had a poor response to prior arthroscopic or other procedures
Vericel is a biological product used to repair your articular cartilage damage. These cultured autologous cells are put back into your knee during a procedure called Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI). The procedure is two-fold. First, a small biopsy of your healthy cartilage is taken and sent to Genzyme Biosurgery. At Genzyme, the cells are grown until there are enough to repair your defect (usually takes 5 weeks). The cells are then put into a vial and shipped back to Dr. Longobardi. The second step is the surgery itself.
Dr. Longobardi will make an incision in your knee, and prepare your injury by clearing away all the damaged tissue. The lesion will then be covered with a patch taken from tissue covering your shin bone (tibia). The newly grown cartilage cells are then injected under the patch into the lession. The cells attach to the bone, multiply and mature to form a cartilage repair.
All patients undergoing Vericel® (autologous cultured chondrocytes) implantation will need to follow a prescribed rehabilitation program.
Within 6 - 24 hours of surgery you will begin using a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine. A CPM machine helps to restore extension and flexion (complete motion) to your knee without the use of muscle groups. The machine moves a joint through a defined (prescribed) range of motion for an extended period of time. Physical therapy starts one week following surgery. Specific therapy programs may vary from patient to patient. Consult with Dr. Longobardi for your specific program.