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Implantable Shock Absorber Can Prevent or Delay Knee Replacement in Osteoarthritis Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Sep 2022
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Image: The shock absorber device to prevent or delay knee replacement is under consideration by the FDA (Photo courtesy of Ohio State University)
Image: The shock absorber device to prevent or delay knee replacement is under consideration by the FDA (Photo courtesy of Ohio State University)

Of the 14 million Americans suffering with the pain of knee osteoarthritis, more than half are under 65, making a knee replacement undesirable, as the prosthetic would likely need to be replaced in their lifetime. Few options exist to get patients back on their feet or to slow joint degradation without major surgery that permanently alters the anatomy of the knee. Now, the results of a clinical trial show that an implantable device can not only make daily activities more comfortable, but delay the need for a knee replacement.

The new implantable device that works as a shock absorber was developed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus, OH, USA) and may soon give those with progressing knee osteoarthritis a new option to reduce pain, improve functionality and delay the need for a total knee replacement. As part of a clinical trial, the researchers implanted the new device designed to take strain off the knee of patients with osteoarthritis. Nearly three years later, the trial results are positive for nearly all of the participants. The device improved pain and functionality for more than 90% of the patients who received it. The results of the clinical trial with two years of patient follow-ups were recently presented, and the data has been submitted to the FDA.

“It is a shock absorber that is anchored to the bone, and when you’re walking or doing other activities it takes away about 30% of the stress on that knee every time you put weight on it,” said Dr. David Flanigan, professor of orthopedics and director of the Cartilage Restoration Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Over 90% of the trial patients have been able to get back to the activities that have been causing them pain for quite some time and experienced significant improvements in pain and function.”

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