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Introducing the My MACI App

Do you have patients starting their comeback with MACI? Encourage them to download the My MACI App to enhance their recovery experience.

Maci Rehabilitation:

Helping restore your active patients

MACI is contraindicated in patients who are unable to follow a physician-prescribed post-surgical rehabilitation program.

0-3 Months Following Surgery

Achieve Routine

After the immediate post-surgery phase, patients will work towards a pain-free and full passive knee extension with limited weight bearing. Over time, the goal is to be free of ambulation devices and knee braces while becoming thoroughly independent with rehabilitation exercises.


  • Mobile with crutches within first week
  • Limited weight bearing and pain-free, full knee extension by 2-3 weeks
  • Independent home exercise as early as 1 month
  • Full weight bearing and full knee range of motion by 8-12 weeks post-surgery
  • Free from knee brace by 8-12 weeks post-surgery

3-6 Months Following Surgery

Build Strength

During this phase, patients should begin to feel comfortable returning to recreational activities. An exercise program will help re-build muscle strength and endurance. Patients may feel ready for more strenuous activity, so you may need to give explicit direction on what activities they are ready for at this stage.


  • Full and pain-free weight bearing and range of motion
  • Continue progression of strengthening exercises without pain or swelling
  • Transition to gym/home based rehab
  • Free from crutches

6-9 Months Following Surgery

Be Active

Patients will enjoy a return to recreational activities and sports by gradually increasing the difficulty of their exercises. Every patient's recovery is unique and should be guided by your assessment of graft maturation as well as mental preparedness of the patient and the general physical function and level of specific knee strength, stability, and support.


  • Increase distance, time, and difficulty of exercises
  • Ability to tolerate lengthy walking distances
  • Return to a pre-operative level of activity

Tissue phases during MACI Rehabilitation

Phase 1 0-3 Months


Cells adhere to bone and begin to proliferate throughout the defect

Phase 2 3-6 Months


Continued proliferation forms a defect-spanning matrix

Phase 6-9 Months


Expansion of the cell matrix into puttylike consistency, progressive hardening until durable repair tissue forms

Chris' MACI Rehab

Recovery time varies greatly as no two patients are alike. The goal is to restore optimal function in each patient as safely as possible. These timeframes are not universal and should be used for general guidance on which goals to reach before progressing to the next. MACI is contraindicated in patients who are unable to follow a physician-prescribed post-surgical rehabilitation program.

Timelines are based on clinical observations and should not be considered medical advice. Individual results for activity and repair tissue progress will vary.

Recovery from MACI treatment is highly individualized. The rehabilitation program is tailored specifically to each patient's unique goals and objectives. Everyone heals at their own rate and cartilage will continue to mature over time. Patients should return to heavy impact activities such as cutting or pivoting as directed.

Are you a physical therapist looking to become a cartilage repair rehab expert? Click here to learn more about MACI physical therapist training >