Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation

A technique for the treatment of large isolated cartilage defects. A small sample of cartilage is harvested from a non-weight-bearing part of the joint during arthroscopy. In a laboratory the chondrocytes are dissolved away of the tissue composite and multiplied in culture dishes.

After a cultivation period of 3 to 4 weeks a cell count of approx. 1 million cells/cm2 is achieved, depending on the size of the defect. In a second surgical procedure, the Chondro-Gide® (Geistlich Pharma) is inoculated with the cells and fitted into the defect. Under the physicochemical effects of the articular milieu, the cells, accompanied by a carefully-adapted rehabilitation programme, form high-grade regenerated cartilage, which has almost 90% of the biomechanical properties of healthy articular cartilage.