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Innovative Knee Repair Surgery Utilizing MACI Membrane Product Performed First-Time-In-New Hampshire by Seacoast Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Surgeon Gavin Webb, MD

June 8, 2017

Dover, NH – Dr. Gavin Webb of Seacoast Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Somersworth, NH, recently became the first person in the State of New Hampshire to perform a Matrix Associated Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI). The procedure was performed at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, NH and is the first time that MACI has been performed in New Hampshire, Maine or Vermont. The technology for this new procedure constitutes the first, and only new, cartilage technology to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1996.

The new MACI technology utilizes the patients’ own cartilage cells to create the MACI scaffold which, unlike preceding technology, can be glued into the cartilage defect. “This technique can, therefore, be done through smaller incisions with a significant improvement in operating time and an easier path to recovery”, said Webb.  This technology is new in the United States but has an almost 10-year track record in Europe with excellent results.

The procedure is an improvement on a well established technique called Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) in which patients’ own cartilage cells are harvested arthroscopically and cultured in a lab. They are then re-implanted under a membrane that is meticulously sewn over the defect in the cartilage. Dr. Webb has been preforming this technique since 2000 and was also the first surgeon to perform ACI in the Seacoast after joining Seacoast Orthopedics in 2005. MACI differs from the original ACI technique in that the cartilage cells are attached to a membrane that is glued into the defect. This allows for smaller incision, less operative time and better incorporation and growth of the new cartilage.

“This new procedure represents a significant advancement in the treatment of cartilage defects in otherwise healthy knees,” states Webb. “This new technique also enables us to now treat isolated defects in the patella (kneecap) which was considered off-label for ACI,” explains Webb. “I am excited to bring this new technology to the Seacoast and be able to offer the state-of-the-art in cartilage repair to my patients.”

Dr. Webb joined Seacoast Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in 2005 and has been a team physician at the University of New Hampshire since moving to NH. He specializes in cartilage restoration in the knee and other minimally invasive techniques to preserve the native knee and prevent arthritis in addition to shoulder and knee arthroscopic surgery.