There is no cure for osteoarthritis for the knee yet. Articular cartilage has a poor self regenerating capacity. Even a prolonged period of non-weight bearing does not help. The ultimate treatment option is total knee prosthesis surgery, which is a radical procedure with risks of complications. Total knee prostheses have a limited life span and revision surgery is often complicated.
Regeneration of articular cartilage in end-stage disease appears to be possible using the joint distraction procedure as developed in the UMC Utrecht. The two articulating surfaces are distracted using a external fixator which does not allow movement of the joint and will stay on for 2-3 months.
The aim of this project:
The aim is to realize a concept of a knee orthosis, which reduces loading of the knee joint, allows flexion and extension and can be used during daily activities for a period of three months. The orthosis should be easily taken on and off, allowing people to sleep and shower without problems. Therefore, the prototype will first be evaluated for comfortable wearing. Only if a sufficiently comfortable orthosis has been achieved a clinical pilot will start.