Autologous chondrocyte transplantation -
Dr. Michael Lehmann

Transplantation of the body's own tissue

Autologous chondrocyte transplantation (ACT) is one of the newer treatment methods in the field of osteoarthritis therapy. With this procedure, a little cartilage tissue is taken from a healthy part of the joint.

The cartilage cells it contains are multiplied using specialist techniques in the laboratory and, after a few weeks, implanted into the bone defect in a second procedure. There, the cells ultimately mature to create high-quality regenerated cartilage which in most cases achieves over 90% of the biomechanical stability of healthy joint cartilage, as extensive investigations have demonstrated.


Procedures for cartilage damage by specialists

Autologous chondrocyte transplantation, with the cultivation of cartilage cells, is a highly complex process. The procedure should therefore only be carried out by suitably experienced clinicians in specialist centres.


For whom is autologous chondrocyte transplantation suitable?

  • This technique is particularly useful for cartilage damage in the knee or ankle joint.
  • The size of the defect should be no more than 10 square centimetres.
  • Intact surrounding cartilage that has no signs of arthritis is essential.
  • Patients should not be older than 50.
  • Joint deformities (bow legs / knock knees) are an exclusion criterion, since in these cases the cartilage can be destroyed more easily due to the uneven stress placed on the joints.

A further development of autologous chondrocyte transplantation is Matrix-induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI). With this technique, the cultivated cartilage cells are inserted into a three-dimensional collagen matrix before being transplanted back into the joint as this allows the cells to integrate more effectively into the joint and then slowly dissolves.

Video - Der Schulterspezialist Dr. Michael Lehmann über die Athletikum Group


Video - Die Schulter


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