Calypso Knee: No Replacement Needed


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) — For the very first time in the United States, surgeons have implanted a new device designed to relieve knee pain in patients with arthritis. The Calypso Knee Device is putting spring back in the steps of people whose knees have been worn down after years of use.

Chuck Stenger used to be in pain taking Storm and Ashes around the block. Thirty-three years as a professional firefighter took a toll on his joints.

“I was on an accident scene, and I was kneeling down to treat a patient and it felt like a nail was going through my knee,” said Stenger.

It wasn’t a nail, it was arthritis. Stenger struggled for years with pain and was considering knee replacement when he learned about a new option.

The Calypso Knee System is being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Surgeons make a six-inch incision on the inside of the knee and insert the device.

“You’re putting a shock absorber outside the knee joint on the inner portion of the knee so that when they are walking that shock absorber takes some of the load off,” said David Flanigan, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Wexner Medical Center.

(Read Full Interview)

Doctors say the hope is that the device will delay or eliminate a patient’s need to have knee replacement. Stenger was the first patient in the country to have the Calypso implanted.

“The second day post op, I put the crutches away,” Stenger shared.

There’s a small bump on the side of his knee, otherwise Stenger can’t feel the device, but he knows it’s working.

“Walking the dogs is not a problem now. Up and down stairs. With this Calypso, if it works for me, I hope it helps a lot of other people too,” Stenger told Ivanhoe.

For now, back on his feet, almost pain-free.

Stenger is retired from the fire department, but he’s looking forward to supporting local firefighters in a nonpaid rehabilitation position. Researchers are studying the Calypso Knee Device, developed by the company Moximed, in 80 patients before it would be available nationwide. In European studies, the implant has provided pain relief for a decade for some patients.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Kirk Manson, Videographer.

Free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe. To sign up:





REPORT:       MB #4545

 BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as OA, is a joint disease that most often affects people middle-aged and older. Often called “wear and tear” of the joints, it’s actually a disease of the entire joint; including the cartilage, joint lining, bone, and ligaments. It is not accurate to say they are wearing out, as it is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, bony changes in the joints, deterioration of ligaments and tendons, and inflammation of the joint lining. Lifetime risk of developing OA of the knee is about 46 percent, and overall OA is the top cause of disability in older people. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function. There is no cure for this disease; however, some treatments aim to slow down its progression.


TREATMENT OPTIONS: Treatment of OA in the knee will depend on a number of patient factors, based on medical history, health needs, level of pain and impact, etc. Most treatment plans include a combination of therapies, as well as healthy lifestyle changes. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will be the first recommendations, as this can ease strain on the joints and alleviate symptoms. Stretching is also recommended, to loosen up the joints and prevent symptoms during the day. Over the counter and prescription medications may be advised for pain relief, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidial anti-inflammatory drugs. Your doctor may prescribe COX-2 inhibitors or hyaluronic acid to act as a lubricant and shock absorber. There are also different physical and alternative therapy options for rehabilitation and relief; including massage, hydrotherapy and relaxation. Injectable steroids, viscosupplements to cushion the joints, and finally surgery to repair joints are all possible treatment options.


CALYPSO KNEE SYSTEM: The Calypso Knee System for knee OA is designed to treat the pain by absorbing the excess load placed on your joint. Usually affecting the inner side of the knee, this system has been designed to specifically treat this type of pain. Once implanted, it works like a shock absorber for the knee, designed to restore within the joint a normal load balance. The device is implanted under the skin, alongside the knee joint, through an incision around six inches long. Unlike joint replacement procedures, nothing is removed (ligament, cartilage, bone). This can help to maintain future treatment options. The procedure is around an hour long, and patients can expect to be back on their feet right away. Most people are back to their normal activities within two months, and continue to progress as they get stronger.

(Source:, Dr. David Flanigan)


Alexis Shaw, PR


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for David Flannigan, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon

Read the entire Q&A