In recent months, the new Centre for the Functional and Biological Reconstruction of the Knee, led by Professor Maurilio Marcacci, has been launched in Humanitas. The professor was recently interviewed by Il Giorno and spoke about different aspects of his work.
The objective of the work at the Centre for Functional and Biological Knee Reconstruction is to rebuild the knee following trauma and injury. “We do 360-degree surgery, implanting mechanical prostheses or reconstructing knee joints, using biological treatments as well. Research also plays an important role, and the group is at the forefront of efforts to develop innovative solutions in the field of orthopedics. “For example, we are leading translational research projects for the development and validation of new prosthetic implants,” the professor explains.
In addition to his clinical and research activities, Professor Marcacci is involved in teaching, as a professor at Humanitas University: “The training of young people is one of the fundamental elements of my activity,” he said.
Damage to joints can be caused by wear and tear, and therefore by the normal passage of time, or by traumas and inflammatory diseases. These factors can affect the relationship between the knee joint heads, reducing their fluidity. The damage may even limit the function of the joint.
These problems can be of interest to anyone and it is good to pay attention to some signs, such as pain or difficulty in maintaining stability; these are real warning signs that should be investigated with the help of the doctor.
Regenerative medicine and surgery
Analyses may reveal degenerative changes, ligament lesions or cartilage defects: these disorders, depending on the clinical case, can be treated one at a time or all together.
“To avoid or delay the use of prostheses, a good example is regenerative medicine, which uses infiltrations with plasma growth factors and stem cells,” says Professor Marcacci.
In some cases surgery is necessary and thanks to new techniques the knee is rebuilt with mechanical prostheses, which are particularly effective in older subjects. Younger patients, on the other hand, and therefore generally more active patients, can be treated with innovative techniques that make it possible to reconstruct the joint, also thanks to “biological treatments that promote regeneration”.
A dream for the future
“My dream is that we will have a complete biological prosthesis and to achieve this we are focusing on regenerative bone and cartilage medicine and joint reconstruction. We’ve been working on it for many years, we’re still missing some steps, but I think we’ll get there,” hopes Professor Marcacci.