Smart Total Knee Replacement

If knee pain intensifies to the point where it hinders daily activities or is accompanied by symptoms like swelling, tenderness, or redness, consulting a doctor is crucial.

At Complete Orthopedics, our highly skilled knee specialists are adept at managing knee pain through both non-surgical and surgical methods, including the advanced Smart Knee Replacement technique. This cutting-edge procedure is tailored to each patient’s unique anatomy for improved outcomes and quicker recovery.

Located in New York City and Long Island and connected to six prominent hospitals, we provide state-of-the-art knee surgery and comprehensive orthopedic services. Appointments with our orthopedic surgeons can be made online or by phone.

Explore common causes and treatments for knee pain, and understand when the innovative Smart Knee Replacement is the most beneficial option.

Overview

After undergoing a total knee replacement, your level of satisfaction can be greatly affected by the size, shape, and how well the implant fits. The reason behind the design of the Smart Total Knee Replacement is to provide your surgeon with more options so that they can achieve a better match with the anatomy of your bone.

Complete Orthopedics is continuously striving to innovate and push the boundaries of what is achievable to provide you with the best possible solutions. Introducing the Smart Total Knee Replacement – the sole knee implant with smart technology.

With the latest implant technology, you can rest assured that you are connected with your healthcare team at all times, throughout your journey. We take great pride in bringing this innovation to you.

How Does It Work?

To begin with, your surgeon will choose the Smart Total Knee Replacement implants that closely align with the anatomy of your knee. After that, a tiny “smart” stem extension is affixed to the lower part of the implant.’

What Data is Collected?

The Smart Total Knee Replacement integrates smoothly into your daily routine. You just need to set it up once by following the guidelines provided in your welcome kit. Post-surgery, it commences collecting data automatically during the night The data is transmitted directly to your surgeon.

Data collected by Smart Total Knee Replacement includes:

  • your walking rhythm
  • the length of your steps while walking
  • the extent of motion or movement possible in your knee
  • walking distance
  • the number of steps counted
  • walking speed

Data collected by Smart Total Knee Replacement DOESN’T include:

  • location
  • places you have visited or traveled to

Why is Collecting the Data Important?

The data gathered by Smart Total Knee Replacement enables your doctor to remotely track your functional progress during your recovery. You can have faith in being connected with your healthcare team at all times during your journey with the latest implant technology.

What Happens Next?

If you wish to explore the Smart Total Knee Replacement, consult with us. Our doctors at Complete Orthopedics can determine if you are a suitable candidate for Smart Total Knee Replacement.

Remain Connected with mymobility

You and your care team can access the data collected by the Smart Total Knee Replacement Implant through the app. The app gives you constant connection to your care team, so you’ll receive helpful reminders, progress reports, and support that’s unique to you.

The app is a tailored approach to help you stay mobile and linked to your care team during your recovery process, offering assistance in a multitude of ways such as:

  • Gaining insight into your condition and enhancing your health before surgery.
  • Getting familiar with what to anticipate on the day of the surgery.
  • Updates regarding your care plan, such as completion of surveys, educational programs, and exercises, are provided to your surgeon and care team to assist them in assessing whether you require additional guidance or follow-up care.
  • Acquiring knowledge about the measures you can take to reduce post-surgery complications.

 

Benefits of Smart Knee Implants

Enhanced Monitoring and Recovery: Patients are equipped with detailed, real-time data on how well their knee is functioning during different activities. This data-driven approach facilitates personalized recovery plans and helps in quickly identifying any issues.

Improved Longevity of Implants: By monitoring how the knee responds to various stresses, it’s possible to predict and prevent scenarios that might otherwise lead to implant failure.

Increased Patient Engagement and Satisfaction: Patients who can actively monitor their progress tend to be more engaged in their recovery and are generally more satisfied with the surgery outcomes.

 

Patient Experience

Imagine a scenario where a patient is recovering from knee replacement surgery. With a smart implant, they can receive feedback via an app that advises them when to rest or when to increase their activity level. This kind of interactive and responsive care can make the recovery process smoother and more efficient.

Indications and Contraindications

Indications

The Smart Total Knee Replacement is designed to offer factual kinematic data via the implanted medical device throughout a patient’s post-surgical care for total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The kinematic data serves as a complementary tool to other physiological parameter measuring instruments employed by physicians while monitoring and treating patients after surgery.

The device is designed for patients who undergo a cemented TKA procedure and require a tibial stem extension of at least 58 mm in size. The kinematic data produced by the Smart Total Knee Replacement are not intended for clinical decision-making purposes and have not been demonstrated to provide any clinical advantages.

Contraindications

Patients undergoing procedures or treatments using therapeutic ionizing radiation in the vicinity of the Smart Total Knee Replacement are contraindicated due to the risk of premature failure of electronic components or shortened battery life.

Therapeutic ionizing radiation can cause harm to the Smart Total Knee Replacement, and any resulting damage may not be detectable immediately. Consider the following contraindications before performing TKA on any patient.

The use of the Smart Total Knee Replacement is not recommended for patients who have:

  • A history of infection in the affected joint or any other local or systemic infection that can impact the prosthetic joint are not eligible for the use of the Smart Total Knee Replacement.
  • Insufficient bone density or quality on the femoral or tibial surfaces.
  • Skeletal immaturity
  • Arthropathy caused by neuropathy
  • Individuals who have osteoporosis or any reduction in muscular or neuromuscular condition that can affect the affected limb
  • A successful fusion with no pain and in a functional position.
  • Severe instability caused by the lack of integrity in the collateral ligaments.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have an ulcer of the skin or a history of recurrent skin breakdown are at increased risk of postoperative infection and therefore, Total Knee Arthroplasty is contraindicated for such patients.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are taking steroids may be at an elevated risk of infection. Moreover, cases of late postoperative infections in RA patients have been reported more than 24 months after the operation.

 

The Future of Smart Knee Implants

Research is ongoing to make these implants even smarter. Future enhancements might include more advanced sensors capable of detecting infections or other complications before they become serious problems. Additionally, advancements in battery life and wireless technology could further improve the functionality and user-friendliness of these implants.

 

Conclusion

Smart knee replacement is a revolutionary step in orthopedic surgery. It promises not only to enhance the surgical outcomes but also to empower patients in their recovery journey. As technology progresses, we can expect these implants to become even more integrated into the holistic management of knee health, making the future of knee replacement not just a mechanical solution but a highly personalized, data-driven approach

Do you have more questions? 

How reliable are the sensors in these implants?

The sensors are designed to be highly reliable and are tested extensively to withstand bodily conditions for many years without failure.

What happens if a sensor fails?

Sensor failure does not impact the mechanical function of the implant but would affect the monitoring capability. Options depend on the situation but could range from monitoring with external devices to surgical revision in rare cases.

How long do smart knee implants last?

The lifespan of a smart knee implant is comparable to traditional implants, typically around 15-20 years, depending on patient activity levels and overall health.

Is the surgery to install a smart knee implant different from regular knee replacement surgery?

How much more does a smart knee implant cost compared to a traditional implant?

Smart implants generally cost more due to the advanced technology and sensors involved. The exact cost can vary significantly based on the healthcare system and insurance coverage.

Is recovery time different with smart knee implants?

Recovery might be more efficient with smart implants due to better tailored rehabilitation plans based on real-time data, potentially leading to quicker functional recovery.

Can anyone get a smart knee implant?

While most people requiring a knee replacement could technically receive a smart implant, suitability often depends on individual health profiles, technological literacy, and specific medical needs.

Are smart knee implants covered by insurance?

Coverage varies by insurer and policy. Patients need to check with their insurance provider to understand what is covered under their plan.

What maintenance is required for smart knee implants?

Regular check-ups are necessary to ensure the implant and its electronic components are functioning correctly. Additionally, software updates may be needed for the device that monitors the sensors.

Can the data from a smart knee implant be shared with other devices?

Yes, the data can often be synced with other health monitoring devices or systems, allowing for a comprehensive view of a patient’s health status.

What kind of battery life do the sensors have?

The sensors are typically powered by very long-lasting batteries designed to work for the lifespan of the implant, or they may be powered by kinetic energy from movement.

What happens during a follow-up visit for a smart knee implant?

Follow-up visits may involve checking the surgical site, assessing knee function, downloading and analyzing data from the implant, and adjusting treatment plans if necessary.

How does the smart implant impact long-term knee health?

By providing detailed data on knee function and stress, smart implants can help in making informed decisions that enhance long-term joint health and functionality.

What should a patient do if they experience issues with their smart implant?

Patients should contact their surgeon or healthcare provider immediately if they suspect any issues with their implant, such as unusual pain or changes in data outputs.

Can smart implants detect complications like infections?

Yes, some smart implants are designed to detect changes in temperature or fluid characteristics around the joint, which can be early indicators of infection.

How does the implant communicate data to the external device?

The implant typically uses low-energy wireless technologies like Bluetooth to transmit data securely to an external device such as a smartphone or a specialized receiver.

What is the success rate of smart knee implants?

While specific success rates can vary, preliminary studies and clinical trials suggest that smart knee implants have a high success rate similar to, or potentially better than, traditional implants due to enhanced monitoring capabilities.

How are privacy concerns handled with data from smart knee implants?

Data privacy is a crucial aspect, and manufacturers must comply with healthcare regulations like HIPAA in the U.S., ensuring that data is encrypted and securely handled.

Can a smart knee implant adjust itself automatically in response to data?

Currently, smart knee implants do not adjust themselves automatically; however, the data collected can inform medical professionals who can then adjust treatment or suggest changes to activity levels.

What happens once I register?

Once you have successfully registered, you will be sent a welcome package that comprises a home base station and a quick start guide. The guide will have step-by-step instructions on how to activate your account and establish a connection with the base station. The provided instructions will have contact numbers for the support team, which can be used in case you require any assistance during the set-up process.

What steps do I need to follow to create my account, and what type of information is required during the setup process?

The welcome packet includes guidelines for setting up your account and base station, and it is designed to be completed within a few minutes. The Information required includes:

  • Username and password of your choice
  • Name, address, phone number, and email address (optional) of the caregiver
  • Name, address, and phone number of your primary care physician.
  • Name, phone number, and email address (optional) of your emergency contact person

To ensure the security of your personal health information, refrain from sharing your username and password with individuals who are not authorized to access it.

Following the surgery, you can use the username and password you established during the setup process to access your dashboard and keep track of your recovery progress.

What is the estimated time required for setting up the base station, and what are the essential requirements for the setup process?

Your home will serve as the location for the base station. The setup of your base station can take between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi connection. The following is required:

  • Login credentials established during the activation of your account, including the username and password.
  • The quick start guide, base station, USB cord, and wall plug adapter are provided in your welcome packet.
  • A Windows 10 compatible computer or laptop.
  • The username and password for your Wi-Fi network.

What is the function of the base station?

The base station is designed to wirelessly communicate with your smart implant and operates as a receiver/transmitter. Every night, theSmart Total Knee Replacement  stem sends your daily activity information to the base station, which then forwards it to your online dashboard. You and your doctor can access this data from the dashboard.

What should I do if I suspect that my device is not functioning correctly, or if I accidentally damage the base station?

You will begin to see information on your patient dashboard three days after the surgery. If you are unable to view your information on the patient dashboard after three days, ensure that the light on the base station is solid green.

If the light on the base station is solid green, wait for 24 hours and then check the patient dashboard again. If the light on the base station is not solid green, disconnect the base station for 5 seconds, then reconnect it. Check your patient dashboard again after waiting for 24 hours.

What kind of information does the Smart Total Knee Replacement stem gather?

  • The flexibility of your knee joint
  • The number of steps you take
  • The length of your steps
  • The distance traveled during walking
  • Your walking speed average

What is the duration of time for which my data will be utilized?

The medical care team will continue to use your data as long as you choose to share it with them. You have the option to opt-out of data collection at any time if you no longer wish to share your data. Consult with your physician to obtain information on the steps involved in opting out. In addition to the required data elements for implant reporting, once you choose to opt out of data sharing, your past data will be made anonymous.

Who has access to my data?

Your medical care team and authorized administrators at Complete Orthopedics will have access to your data from the Smart Total Knee Replacement. Your patient dashboard is another way for you to access and view your information.

How will I be able to see my data?

The information collected by your Smart Total Knee Replacement will be displayed on your patient dashboard, which can be accessed through our website. You can refer to the patient materials included in the welcome packet for further information.

Can the smart implant monitor my location?

The Smart Total Knee Replacement implant does not function as a GPS tracking device, so it does not track your location.

What happens when I travel?

The Smart Total Knee Replacement implant has the capacity to store data for up to 30 days within the implant, eliminating the need to carry your home base station with you on most trips.

After returning home, the smart implant and base station will transfer the collected information to your surgeon and patient dashboard from the stored data.

If you are traveling for more than 30 days, the smart implant will continue to collect information. Nevertheless, data that is older than 30 days will be overwritten. This implies that you may lose the data collected before the 30-day limit.

If you spend some time away from home during the year, such as having a second summer or winter home, you can take your home base station and accessories with you to your new location.

You can easily set it up again by following the instructions provided in the quick start guide. You can expect your smart implant to transmit data as usual after following the setup steps with your home base station and accessories.

Can I withhold information about the implant from other doctors if I require a different surgery?

It’s recommended to let your doctors know about your medical background.

Can the battery inside the smart stem device hurt me?

Certain medical treatments involve the use of equipment that generates electrical currents within your body. Before any medical procedure, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know about your smart stem implant as certain procedures that involve medical equipment introducing electrical currents into your body may not be safe for you.

Can I change my decision regarding the smart implant before or after the surgery?

A prompt communication of your decision to our office is necessary.

A clinical care plan that does not involve the use of a smart implant will be determined by your surgeon for your surgical procedure.

You will receive instructions on how to return to your home base stations.

In case you wish to discontinue the transmission of your data we can remotely disable the sensor.

Data collected before the shut off date will remain accessible in the system, however, no additional data can be gathered without your explicit consent.

Steps To Resolve Problems

Here are some possible issues that you could encounter with your Smart Total Knee Replacement, along with recommended solutions to help you address them:

Problem

The base station light is not turning on.

Solution

Ensure that the base station is connected to the USB power cord, data cable, and wall plug adapter. Ensure that the base station is properly plugged into the wall outlet. If the outlet is controlled by a light switch, ensure that the switch is turned on.

Problem

I am unable to access my patient account with my login credentials.

Solution

You may want to verify that the username and password you are entering are correct.

Problem

The patient dashboard information is not visible to me.

Solution

After your surgery, it will take 3 days before you start seeing any information on your patient dashboard.

You should verify that the light on your base station is solid green if you do not see your information on the patient dashboard after 3 days.

If the light on your base station is green, please check your patient dashboard again after 24 hours.

Problem

The base station has a solid red light.

Solution

You can try unplugging the base station, waiting for 5 seconds, and then plugging it back in.

Problem

The base station’s light is steady yellow.

Solution

Ensure that your home Wi-Fi signal is working properly to verify that it is functioning. You can verify this by checking the Wi-Fi signal on your smartphone next to the base station in your bedroom. If your phone has a good signal but the base station light is still yellow, please reach out to customer support for troubleshooting assistance.

You may improve your Wi-Fi signal by relocating your modem closer to your bedroom, if it is feasible to do so. This could help to increase the strength of the signal, especially if your current signal is weak. You may attempt to improve the Wi-Fi signal by plugging in the modem at a cable outlet that is closer to your bedroom.

Dr. Nakul Karkare

I am fellowship trained in joint replacement surgery, metabolic bone disorders, sports medicine and trauma. I specialize in total hip and knee replacements, and I have personally written most of the content on this page.

You can see my full CV at my profile page.