July 16, 2008 - Marietta Memorial Offering New Orthopedic Procedure

(Marietta, OH, July 18, 2008) - Marietta Memorial Hospital recently became the first health care facility in the area to offer a surgical procedure that uses a patient’s own cultured cells to repair damaged knee cartilage. The procedure, autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), is a two-step treatment process for patients that have had an inadequate response to other cartilage repair procedures.

According to Dr. Troy Skidmore, D.O., the orthopedic surgeon who performed the ACI procedure at MMH, “The technology advancements that exist at Marietta Memorial makes this procedure very accessible to the surrounding communities.” Dr. Skidmore has also completed reverse total shoulder and hip arthroscopy surgeries, both of these procedures being new to the area as well.

Frances Smitherman, the 26-year-old West Virginia resident who recently underwent the ACI surgical procedure at MMH states, “This procedure is a whole new look at the advancements of medicine and technology and provided me as a patient with all the benefits of being close to home in a caring environment. Although I am only in my first few weeks of rehabilitation, I am healing well and feeling better.”

The first step of the ACI procedure involves taking a sample or “biopsy” of the healthy articular cartilage and allowing the cells to grow over a five-week period. CARTICEL is the name of the cells that are grown from the samples taken and is the only treatment that makes use of a patient’s own cultured cells to repair damaged knee cartilage. Once the cells have multiplied, they are ready for implantation in the knee. The new cells are injected underneath the initial incision and over time, can form cartilage similar to that of the original.

Even though the ACI procedure provides a major innovation to the options available for knee injury patients, many people in Ohio do not know about the procedure and therefore do not include it as an alternative. In addition, the overall recovery process is a minimum of 6-8 weeks and varies per person based on numerous factors including age and weight. During this time, patients will use a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine and complete toe touch weight bearing exercises to continue to improve flexibility and strength.

The ACI procedure has been performed since 1995 with thousands of people being treated with CARTICEL since its introduction. The procedure is covered by 10 out of every 10 major insurance companies. For additional information regarding the ACI surgical procedure, please consult your physician and visit


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