Early Intervention Knee System
Peter Walker, M.D.
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Background and Description of Technology:
Over the past three decades, by far the most frequently used interventional treatment forosteoarthritis (OA) of the knee has been total knee replacement (TKR). Overall demand for TKR is growing, not just because the population is aging, but also because the demand for knee replacement in people under 65 is growing as well. Although TKR is the main treatment for OA of the knee, it can cost more than $40,000 and seldom restores normal function. Therefore there is a great need for less expensive and effective options.
Dr. Walker has conceived and advanced a program to develop a method for the early treatment of OA of the knee that will significantly reduce the cost per procedure and preserve almost normal knee function. The rationale for Dr. Walkerʼs innovative procedure emanated from a study of the arthritic changes seen in knees at the time TKRs were performed. The new system will consist of small implant components whichcan be inserted through incisions typically used in arthroscopic surgery in order to resurface only those areas of worn cartilage effected at the early stage of arthritis. Using FDA approved materials and available procedures, components and instruments for this Early Intervention Knee System (EIKS) have already been designed. Preliminary studies have already been carried out on the sizes and shapes of the osteoarthritic lesions in cases of early osteoarthritis, the wear of components, and on the stresses onthe bone after implantation. The major benefits of EIKS are:
• The surgical procedure can be carried out through small incisions, minimizing theoperative and the recovery times, hence significantly reducing costs, risks and potential complications.
• The components restore the original joint surfaces and retain all ligaments, returning the knee close to its normal, intact state.
• The current design incorporates highly wear-resistant, FDA approved materials.
• This device, implanted at the stage of early osteoarthritis, should last for one to two decades in most patents, eliminating the need for a TKR.
• The instrumentation, relying on local navigation, is accurate and ensures correct placement of the components under arthroscopic visualization.
• The components should be fewer in number and far lower in cost than thoseused in TKR.
• The lower costs associated with the procedure and recovery will make this procedure favorable to insurers and third party administrators.
Patent applications have been filed and NYU is seeking commercial partners to develop this technology targeting the demands of over one million patients in a $20 billion market.