Unloading the Osteoarthritic Knee with a Novel Implant System

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 Moximed, Hayward, CA
  • 2 Stanford University School of Medicine
  • 3 Boston University Medical Center
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Medial knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disorder often associated with pathologic joint loading. Insoles, braces, and high tibial osteotomy are OA treatments aimed at reducing medial joint loads, but their use and effectiveness are limited. The KineSpring System implant also intends to reduce knee loads in OA patients while overcoming those limitations. The current study was undertaken to test the implant’s effect on loads at the knee. Six cadaver knees with Outerbridge Grade I-II medial OA were subjected to simulated gait using a kinematic test system. Knees were tested with and without the medial knee implant while thin film sensors measured medial and lateral femorotibial contact pressures. Significant medial compartment load reductions (134 ± 53 N [P = .002]) were found throughout the stance phase of gait in the treated knee. Significant total joint load decreases (91 ± 40 N [P = .002]) were also observed without substantial changes in lateral compartment loads. These significant reductions of medial and total intra-articular loads are also within clinically effective ranges of other unloading systems. This suggests that the KineSpring System could be a viable treatment for medial knee OA.

Stefan M. Gabriel (Corresponding Author), Anton G. Clifford, and Mary K. O’Connell are with Moximed, Hayward, CA. William J. Maloney is with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Redwood City, CA. Paul Tornetta III is with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA.