Medical Moment: The ‘smart knee’ replacement

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 5:34 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WNDU) - Four percent of American adults over the age of 50 are living with a knee replacement, a metal and plastic joint replacing a painful joint.

However, a new “smart knee” component may give patients and doctors valuable feedback.

Raymond Schmitt spent his career as a letter carrier for the postal service.

“I’m walking, like, seven hours a day, pounding in and out of the truck,” Schmitt recalled.

After decades on his feet, Schmitt felt it in his knees.

“My legs were always a little bit bowed,” Schmitt continued.

Both knees were painful at night. He tried supplements and cortisone shots, but nothing gave him relief. Knee replacement was his remaining option.

“Once the x-rays show bone-on-bone arthritis, which is what most of our patients will show, it means there’s no more space, there’s no more rubber on the tires, the bones are touching,” said Yair Kissin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Dr. Kissin had new knee technology to offer, the Persona IQ Smart Knee, a knee replacement with sensors that transmit motion data. During surgery, the arthritic joint is replaced with a custom-selected plastic and metal replacement and an additional stem that anchors into remaining bone.

“This is basically a little addition that gives you sort of a Fitbit inside your, attached to your implant,” Dr. Kissin explained.

The technology gives feedback on a patient’s movement after surgery, including speed and range of motion.

“This technology is based upon pacemaker technology that gets implanted in a person and stays there for 10 to 20 years,” Dr. Kissin said.

The information can help researchers and patients monitor recovery better than ever before. Schmitt can see the difference in his left knee; he’s looking forward to having his other done and getting back to the activities he loves.

An app on a patient’s phone allows them to monitor their progress every day. The information is stored securely in the cloud, and Dr. Kissin says it will be used for research that will improve future procedures.