Smart Knee Gives Clues to Stepping Success


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.

(Read Full Interview)

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 attached to your implant,” Dr. Kissin mentions.

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

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

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 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.

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

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BACKGROUND: Knee replacement surgeries include replacing injured joints with prosthetic materials. Knee surgeries are also called arthroplasty. The surgery is performed to eliminate knee pain that is still present after treatments.  Knee surgeries have existed since the 1960s and can be partial, or complete surgeries. Around 800,000 knee surgeries are performed in the United States every year. The success rates for these procedures tend to be very high and patients often return to normal daily tasks within six weeks following surgeries.


DIAGNOSING: In many cases a doctor will order imaging tests when a patient reports knee pains. These can include X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs. If infections are suspected or inflation occurs, blood tests will be ordered. A procedure called arthrocentesis, a type of blood test that extracts a small amount of fluid from the knee with a needle and sends it to a lab for testing. This is a common blood test ordered for knee injuries. Treatments vary depending upon what kind of injury has taken place but common treatment methods are medications,  injections, and surgery.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: The first ever smart knee replacement was implanted in surgery in New Jersey. The knee replacement joint effectively tracks and transmits knee movement data. Physicians can use the information to monitor patients’ recovery and track improvements after the knee replacement surgery. The smart knee has a 10 year long battery lifespan and sensors that can capture important information. The information captured by the sensors is converted to the patient’s home base system.



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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Dr. Yair Kissin, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon

Read the entire Q&A