Clinical trial shows implantable device reduces knee pain, increases functionality for 90% of osteoarthritis patients

The shock absorber device aims to prevent or delay a knee replacement and is now under consideration by the FDA

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – 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. 

“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.” 

Chuck Stenger was the first in the U.S. to receive the medial implantable shock absorber, known as MISHA, which was implanted by Flanigan in 2018 at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. A few days later he was back on his feet with less pain, and today he’s still on the move with no plans of slowing down.

“Before participating in the clinical trial, I was told I was probably a candidate for a knee replacement, and I didn’t think I was quite ready for that yet,” Stenger said. “Three days after the implant procedure I was walking around, and with a little therapy I’m back to golfing, taking long walks and just living life without constant pain in my knees.” 

The results of the clinical trial with two years of patient follow-ups was recently presented, and the data has been submitted to the FDA.

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A new implantable device that works as a shock absorber 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.

Dr. David Flanigan implants a new device designed to take strain off the knee of patients with osteoarthritis as part of a clinical trial at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Nearly three years later, the trial results are positive for nearly all of the participants.

Dr. David Flanigan examines the knee of a patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Flanigan was the first surgeon to implant an experimental shock absorber device to relieve pain and improve functionality of those with progressing knee osteoarthritis.

Dr. David Flanigan speaks with a patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center about a new implantable device that may delay the need for a knee replacement. A clinical trial found that the device, which works as a shock absorber, improves pain and functionality for more than 90% of the patients who received it.

Chuck Stenger was the first person in the U.S. to be implanted with a device that works as a shock absorber to take strain off the knees of those with progressing osteoarthritis. Nearly three years later, Stenger is still on the move and able to do the things he loves without pain.

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