MyMobility app helps rehab after knee replacement

Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 3:50 PM EDT
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Millions of Americans get knee or hip replacements every year. Now, patients in a clinical trial don't have to go to their physical therapist for rehab. It's right on their phone.

These are the details you need to know on a test project that should improve compliance and reduce costs for patients.

Gavin Cameron-Webb hardly limps at all now. That wasn't the case before his knee replacement three weeks ago.

"My knee was giving me a lot of trouble. There was pain, and I couldn't walk far," Cameron-Webb said.

Hoag Orthopedic Institute's Dr. Steven Barnett has Cameron-Webb in the MyMobility app trial run by Zimmer Biomet and Apple. They're testing a watch and an app to help patients do their rehab exercises conveniently and, hopefully, often.

The app has a range of exercise videos and other information, even for pre-op patients. The watch reminds patients to exercise and sends back information to the doctor.

"We can literally log in to the patient's account daily, see how far they've walked, see if they've done their exercises, and it allows us to keep close tabs on them, especially in that immediate post-operative period," Barnett said.

Cameron-Webb does his exercises three times a day and sees improvement every day. He has big plans.

"I want to get back on the racquetball court, I want to get on the tennis court with my wife, and I want to be able to walk again in London," he said.

The app gives Cameron-Webb six to eight weeks of exercises, but he'll wear the watch for a year to give doctors recovery information. Barnett says compliance is good with MyMobility participants.

Hoag Orthopedic is one of 18 sites participating in the MyMobility study.




REPORT: MB #4602

BACKGROUND: Knee and hip replacements are surgeries that are mostly performed on older adults with severe arthritis. They can also both be performed on younger patients depending on bad fractures or prior injuries. Both surgeries require patients to do rehabilitation to help regain range of motion and get the areas strong once again. Depending on the patient recovery times are different, but the average full recovery is two to three months for hip replacement and four to six months for a knee replacement. (Source:

SURGERY RISK FACTORS: Both surgeries come with risks. Risk factors for knee replacement include infection, blood clots in the leg vein or lungs, heart attack, stroke and nerve damage. If the artificial knee becomes infected there will be another two surgeries to come. One to remove the infected artificial knee parts and another to put a new knee in again. Artificial knees also have the potential to wear out if too much stress is put on the joints. Risk factors for hip replacement include blood clots, infection, fracture, dislocation, change in leg length, and loosening. Similar to a knee replacement, hip replacements can wear out causing a patient to have to get a second hip replacement. New materials are allowing for these artificial parts to last longer so second surgeries are not always needed in patients anymore. (Sources: &

MYMOBILITY APP: Steven Barnett, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon/Researcher at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, is using a new app called MyMobility on iPhone and iWatch to help patients with rehab. "The concept is that patients will be able to do their therapy daily without requiring a home visit. But more importantly with the iPhone that's attached and with the iWatch that the patient wears which records a lot of vital statistics like distance traveled, heart rate, and various data points, that allows us as the surgeon and practitioner to track how they're doing remotely." Patients will begin using the app the day after surgery. The app has different modules that give patients goals and milestones during the preoperative period. This trial started last November and is currently being done at 20 different sites around the country. For more information on selection criteria, or how to enroll, visit (Source: Steven Barnett, MD)