Dr. Razzano spent some time explaining the MACI procedure on the WING radio station (ESPN 1410) in Dayton, OH.
Afternoon show co-hosts Justin Kinner and Mark Schlemmer got the chance to ask some questions to Dr. Andrew Razzano, the only physician in Greater Dayton to perform the FDA-approved MACI procedure. The MACI procedure involves taking a patient’s own cells, growing them in a lab, and then implanting them back into the patient to regrow cartilage.
Patient can usually expect to return to normal activity within about 3 months and within about 6 months they can return to running and cutting or higher level sports. This is a good procedure to restore or replace cartilage, especially after a joint has been cleaned up multiple times or has lost cartilage due to over-use or an injury.
Right now, the MACI procedure works best for people who have lost cartilage in their knee. Dr. Razzano hopes to see the scope of application broaden to include shoulder, hip, and ankle applications as well, even though right now it is only approved for knee.
Listen to the full interview here:
Kinner and Schlemmer here on 1410 ESPN Radio. We really appreciate the time with Solomon Wilcots, former Cincinnati Bengal if you missed that interview, it will be up on the website shortly at wingam.com. That was a great interview. We touched on a ton of great stuff. Talked about the Browns, talked about the Bengals, talked about some other NFL headlines. But we closed the interview talking about a new knee procedure that is performed by Dr. Andrew Razzano here in the Dayton area. He is an orthopedic surgeon from Beacon Orthopaedics here in Dayton. We’re joined by him now. Dr. Andrew Razzano, we appreciate your time. How are you doing?
“I’m doing great. How are you guys doing?”
“Very well, thank you. Doctor, first of all, one thing that we talked about with Solomon to close out the interview was this new procedure that we just talked about, called MACI (M-A-C-I). Just tell us a little bit about it and how it differs from other standard knee procedures. What separates this one, and why this is something to look into.”
“Well, it’s a great procedure. It’s based off of another procedure called ACI, and it’s made it easier for surgeons to perform it. But basically, it stands alone because we’re taking your own cells and growing them in a lab, and then being able to reimplant them in your knee. So, you’re having living cells in your knee that are yours. So it really differs from having donor cells or cells that are partially living, in that they are your own living, growing cells. We know they’re viable. We know it works. It has a great track record. They used to do it in Europe before it transitioned to the United States, and it’s been performing very well for us. Now, again, what better way to go than your own cells?”
“Doctor, how soon do most of the patients have it done, how soon are they back to normal activities?”
“You know, normal activity comes within probably three months of the surgery. You’re back doing normal day-to-day things. By about six months, they’re doing more running and cutting activities. And then, by the six to nine-month mark, they’re getting back into athletics, you know. And again, this is a FDA-approved procedure that gets people back to their daily activities but also their athletic activities.”
“If I’ve had a previous knee surgery and still having issues with it, can I have this procedure done?”
“Absolutely. I mean, there are certain indications where we may have to deviate. But a lot of times this is a good answer. And a lot of people may go in for simple scopes and clean-outs of their knee, and then they get to a point in time where they need something a little bit more in-depth that actually brings back cartilage to that knee. Instead of just kind of cleaning up any of the frayed or loose cartilage, you need to replace some of it. And that brings back a more normal joint, gets you back to your normal activities.”
“What are some of the common activities that lead to some of these issues? I mean, obviously with high school athletics just around the corner, football obviously, volleyball. What are some of the more common injuries that you see and which of those would correlate with this type of procedure?”
“Well, most of these procedures are done for cartilage injuries. We have the cartilage that coats the end of your bone, your articular cartilage. We have people that will shear off a piece of it or damage it in a collision sport or a repetitive injury. Repetitive injuries are more weekend warriors, and some of the impact injuries are football players, may be associated with an ACL tear or meniscus tear. And as we deal with those injuries now we have another option to deal with cartilage injuries associated with them.”
“Doctor, I’m getting a person texting in, wanting to know what about if they have really dry joints or a lot of arthritis. Can this also help that?”
“It can help with specific areas of arthritis. And that’s what arthritis is–it’s purely the loss of an area of cartilage. So if you’ve lost this area of cartilage, a lot of times we can go in and place this new cartilage, your own cartilage that’s regrown back into that area that doesn’t have cartilage or is devoid of cartilage. If it’s your entire knee that has no cartilage, those are different procedures. But focal areas, this is an excellent option for an area of arthritic change or loss of cartilage that we can replace it.”
“I know this is strictly for the knee, but will this one day move into, say, elbows or shoulders? I’m thinking of baseball specifically. Will one day this, I guess, be able to be expanded?”
“Absolutely. I think so. I think we’re getting very close to that now, it’s just getting it approved. It works very well for the knee. We keep using it and expanding horizons for this product, and may see it one day used in shoulders, elbows, and ankles as well.”
“You say you perform this procedure here in Dayton. How rare is this type of procedure right now throughout the United States. Obviously, it’s available here in Dayton, but just how rare is this procedure and where else (I don’t want to say where else can you get it), but is this going to be a place where a lot of people from outside this area come for this procedure as well?”
“I think so, yeah. I think that it’s something that once you are comfortable performing it, people start to see the outcomes and they start to come and ask for this procedure and details about it. I’ve had people come from out of state. I’ve had people come from northeast Ohio and ask about it. There are certain physicians that do perform this around the country, but it’s fairly new as far as MACI is concerned. Again, it branches from ACI. Now, with MACI, it’s been FDA approved for about over a year. It’s been used in Europe. It has an excellent track record in Europe and I think people are starting to see that it is very, very beneficial to them, their life, their lifestyle. So I’m having more and more patients come down and ask about it. We had two last week, we have one coming up next Thursday. So it’s very beneficial and we’re seeing patients have great success with it.”
“If there’s one athlete that people could associate a name with, that’s had this procedure done and made a pretty strong recovery, is there anybody out there you could point to?”
“Well, Solomon Wilcots. He did great.”
“When’s he coming back to the Bengals?”
“We need him! We need him soon. You know, obviously, I can’t talk about some of the major athletes we’ve done this on, major league athletes. I want to. But I saw one hit a game-winning double two weeks ago, for a team not in this state. But he was nine months out. So he did excellent.”
“So this isn’t anything Andrew Lark has been involved in, I know his shoulder rehab and all that. But is this kind of similar to what he’s doing?”
“You know, he has some different injuries to his shoulders. It was related to his labrum, most likely his biceps, tendons, which is slightly different than the cartilage that coats your bone. That’s more of a rim of cushioning cartilage that adds stability to the shoulder. But we do have a lot of athletes. We’ve had a lot of Reds players that have defective cartilage in their shoulder that we do different procedures for. Now that this is available, this is something that I think we will look at in the future for that.”
“We really appreciate you coming on and telling us more about this and Solomon Wilcots did a tremendous job, too, in previewing this. But just if people are interested in learning more about this procedure and more about what you guys do, where can they go to get more of that information?”
“BeaconOrtho.com. If you go online and go to BeaconOrtho.com, you’ll see many, many different options. All of our surgeons are listed, and then you can see, basically, the articular cartilage restoration procedures we do, which is MACI, as well as many other options. You can also call 937-354-3700. We have somebody that answers the phone 24/7.”
“I’ve got people texting pretty often right now, with the arthritis and just what you can do.”
“Well, hey, I’m still in office now and they can stop on by right now. We’re here.”
“Dr. Andrew Razzano is an orthopedic surgeon at Beacon Orthopaedics here in Dayton. Doctor, thank you so much for your time today, we appreciate it. Have a great weekend.”