OrthoSensor%u2122 Knee Balancer
A fairly new product for alleviating pain and restoring function in the knee is an implant device called the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer.%u2122 During knee-replacement surgery, the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer monitors and provides information about the structures in the knee joint; this information ensures optimal positioning and placement of the knee implant. The most common causes of implant failure are instability, an imbalance in the soft tissues, and malalignment. The OrthoSensor Knee Balancer addresses these issues to help ensure successful knee-replacement surgery.
Manufactured by OrthoSensor Inc., the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer is an FDA-approved micro-electronic device that measures the parameters of the implant within the joint, and offers physicians detailed data during surgery that includes immediately alerting them to when joint instability, precarious load shifts or positioning issues occur. For a patient's replaced knee to fully function and have complete range of motion, it is essential that the soft tissues of the joint are well balanced. Soft tissues, which include the ligaments, tendons and muscles, offer the knee stability and make its movement possible. When tissues are too tight, the knee's range of motion is limited. When the tissues are too loose, the joint may become dislocated or unstable. The more information a surgeon has about the soft tissues, the better the surgery can be customized to reduce potential problems within a specific patient's knee joint.
Benefits of the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer
During joint replacement surgery, by relaying essential data to the surgeon in real time, the Knee Balancer decreases the risk of implant failure post-surgery. Joint implants have a relatively high rate of failure, often because they are not properly balanced within the joint. A properly balanced implant can remain functional for two decades; an unbalanced one can cause discomfort and restrict motion, and may lead to a second surgery's being necessary within a few years of the initial one.
The OrthoSensor Knee Balancer Procedure
During knee replacement, the damaged ends of the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone) are removed, as is any nearby unhealthy cartilage. Once the joint has been prepared, the surgeon implants the artificial replacement and aligns it against the now-smooth ends of bone. The metal and plastic replacement parts are typically held in place with cement, and all of the soft tissue in the area is repositioned.
Using the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer during surgery provides detailed information to help achieve the precise placement necessary for the implant to function at its best. The Knee Balancer works by routing information about the joint through a wireless connection to a computer system. The screen displaying the information is visible to the surgeon throughout the procedure. The surgeon is able to tailor the placement of the implant and the positioning of the joint structures according to the information generated by the Knee Balancer. This may result in modifying the implant itself, or by moving soft tissues to adjust pressure that can affect the implant's functionality. By receiving patient-specific information during the procedure, the surgeon increases the likelihood of successful knee replacement.