Almost 800,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States, according to statistics from the Cleveland Clinic.
The recovery, however, can be long and hard. But new technology is helping patients and their surgeons every step of the way.
Lisa Herrick, of Arlington, became the first Texan to get a "smart knee."
"The smart implant is an implant that communicates with the outside world, just like our smartphones or smartwatches, and even smart coffee mugs these days," said Dr. Om Patel, MD Baylor Scott & White in Frisco.
The device implanted in the knee is from Persona IQ and is the world’s first and only smart knee implant granted De Novo status by the FDA for total knee replacement surgery.
The implantable Bluetooth-enabled sensor technology measures range of motion, step count, walking speed and other gait metrics.
It records and wirelessly transmits a wide range of data to a patient’s personal base station at home and the patient can pull up the information on a smartphone app.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The data is then securely delivered to a HIPAA-compliant cloud-based platform and can be accessed by the patient and the surgeon.
"The surgeon has full capability of watching the patient to ensure that there's nothing happening in the background that we're missing. If so, then we will get red flags or alerts that maybe this person needs a little bit of extra attention, maybe something is going wrong that we can check into," said Patel.
This kind of Bluetooth technology isn't new.
There are Bluetooth-enabled pacemakers, hip replacements and spinal stimulators, but to be the first in Texas to get a "smart knee" feels pretty good, according to Herrick.