The process has been available since 1996 when he participated in his first transplant in a professional athlete. Although only FDA approved for use in the knee, the ACI procedure has been used “off label” by Dr. Bailie and others in multiple joints, including the shoulder, ankle and elbow. Recently, the FDA finally approved the newest version of ACI. This procedure, MACI, uses a patient’s own cartilage cells to regenerate cartilage in a defect. In stead of injecting them into the defect as a liquid and covering the defect with periosteum from the tibia, MACI is performed by implanting a porcine (pig) collagen membrane which has been saturated with the cells in a lab (after growing them). Small cartilage pieces are taken from the joint during a simple arthroscopy. The pieces are sent to the VERICEL lab where they are cultured and grown as chondrocytes (cartilage cells). They are then placed on the collagen membrane. The patch is shipped to the facility at the time of the second surgery where the patch is implanted and glued into place. The cells then grown and reform cartilage in the defect over the next several months. The MACI technique has been available in Europe for some time but not until JANUARY 2017 was it FDA approved for use in the U.S.  Dr. Bailie is one of the first surgeons in the U.S. certified to use MACI outside of a study protocol. For further inquiry on cartilage transplant/regeneration, please contact Dr. Bailie at or make an appointment for evaluation to see if you are a candidate. Patient-specific advice cannot be provided until you have been examined by Dr. Bailie and all appropriate studies evaluated.