Best Life: Smart Knee gives clues to stepping success

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 7:05 AM CST
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HACKENSACK, NJ (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Four percent of American adults over the age of 50 are living with a knee replacement – a metal and plastic joint replacing a painful, arthritic joint.

Despite the prevalence of the surgery, surgeons are still working on ways to improve it.

Now, a new “smart knee” component may be giving 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 recalls.

After decades on his feet, Schmitt felt it in his knees. 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,” Hackensack University Medical Center orthopedic surgeon, Yair Kissin, MD explains.

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 the remaining bone.

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

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,” said Dr. Kissin.

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

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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