Elizabeth S., an active 52-year-old woman, struggled with knee instability, dislocations, and pain for the majority of her life. She first dislocated her knee when she was a
teenager, and ever since then, her left knee continued dislocating.
She met with board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. J. Ryan Cotton to discuss the condition of her knee. After an MRI scan, he explained to her that this was no way to live her life. Her patella was too unstable for her to function normally without the potential
of further damage.
If Elizabeth was older and not as active, then she would’ve been a candidate for a total knee replacement, but that wasn’t the case. If she had that procedure, she would’ve lost
significant range of motion.
Dr. Cotton recommended that Elizabeth undergo the autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) procedure. As a two-part surgery, the ACI procedure first includes a biopsy of the patient’s cartilage, which is then grown and cultured in preparation for the
In Elizabeth’s case, she needed to also have a medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction in addition to the cartilage extraction. The repetitive trauma to her knee
had damaged her ligaments and cartilage.
“Dr. Cotton was fantastic from start to finish,” she said.
In January of 2021, Dr. Cotton performed the MPFL reconstruction to stabilize her stretched-out ACL and meniscus as well as biopsy her cartilage. After a successful surgery, Elizabeth spent the next few months in physical therapy. She then planned to take the summer to recuperate in the sun with her husband—traveling, resting, and letting her
cartilage biopsy grow at the lab.
Following summer, Elizabeth underwent her final surgery in September to implant the grown cartilage. Dr. Cotton had Elizabeth spend recovery on a non-weight-bearing, sixweek
plan to protect her joint and fully heal.
“I’m four months out now, and I don’t have that pain or instability that I was used to my whole life. It was a life-changing surgery for me,” Elizabeth said. “I don’t walk with a
limp, and I get to enjoy long walks with my husband.”
If you experience constant and recurring knee pain, consult with board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cotton by calling 850-785-4344 or scheduling an appointment