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CINCINNATI, OH. – Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine’s John Larkin, M.D., has performed the region’s first procedure using the only “smart knee” implant in the world.

The Persona IQ “smart knee” utilizes small sensors to capture data on a patient’s progress and movements following knee replacement surgery. A data transmitter provides information to the surgeon as well as to the patient through a smart phone app.

The “revolutionary” technology allows the patient to be more interactive with their care while providing data on the patient’s progress to the physician, Dr. Larkin said.

“It is a true game-changer in terms of where technology is going,” Dr. Larkin said. “It is not for every patient, but for those who embrace technology, this is the future.”

Dr. Larkin’s patient – retired nurse Ann Patten – is able to track her steps, average walking speed, the length of her strides, the distance she travels while walking and her range of motion. Data is collected on a secure cloud platform and the device is not used to track a patient’s location.

“The smart knee allows a patient to see how they are doing and if they are making progress on a day-to-day basis,” Dr. Larkin said. “They can monitor their range of motion, steps, cadence, overall stability and more. And it really implores the patient to work harder because they can see if they are progressing. They are no longer just a passive player in their recovery.”

Patten said she has had issues with her knee since 2004, when she tore her meniscus.

“Shortly thereafter, I started experiencing difficulty in moving my knee and ever since I’ve had long term issues with my right knee, including bone-on-bone and a loss of cartilage,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of pain and a loss of motion and movement.”

When Dr. Larkin approached her about having a smart knee procedure, she said she was “intrigued”.

“I wanted to make sure I had the right surgeon and the right team that I could trust to really do the procedure well,” Patten said. “And my second major concern was having a successful recovery period. That was critical in working to return to full mobility.

“Dr. Larkin and the entire team at Beacon were outstanding,” she said. “I’ve done great since the procedure with my range of motion, my strength and mobility and my continued improvement. And being able to log on to my app and see that my numbers are improving has been very helpful in my overall recovery. It is great to see how well I have been progressing.”

Developed by Zimmer Biomet, the smart knee’s sensors are connected to the traditional part of the implant. The smart senor collects data several times a day, analyzes it overnight and presents it for viewing the following day. The long-term data collection is automatically available for the surgeon and the care team review.

“For now, this is just available for knees but eventually we will be able to use for hips and shoulders,” Dr. Larkin said.

Patten said she is excited to be part of the innovative procedure.

“I had no trouble in setting up the modem and learning how to track my progress,” she said. “I’ve received tremendous support from Dr. Larkin and the team I have been working with. It has gone very, very well.”

About Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Established in 1996, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has helped thousands of patients overcome injuries and improve their quality of life. Beacon Orthopaedics provides medical direction and coverage for over 30 local high schools, five college athletics programs, and professional teams including the Cincinnati Reds. With over 20 locations across Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana, Beacon offers instant access to comprehensive orthopedic care, including sports medicine, physical therapy, athletic training, imaging services, regenerative medicine, as well as surgical procedures involving neck, spine, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, foot and ankle repair, reconstruction, and replacement.