A high-tech roller skate is getting arthritic knees moving again after surgery.
The 12-wheeled skate, plus a mobile app, is designed to boost recovery and improve joint movement after knee replacement operations.
The device allows seated patients to carry out muscle-strengthening exercises without putting pressure on the new joint.
Knee replacement surgery, which involves replacing a damaged knee with an artificial joint, is carried out more than 70,000 times a year on the NHS. Most patients are able to resume normal daily activities, including driving, within six weeks, although it may take up to a year to fully recover.
The 12-wheeled skate, plus a mobile app, is designed to boost recovery and improve joint movement after knee replacement operations (file image)
One of the challenges is getting the maximum range of movement in the new knee, which can make tasks such as climbing stairs or getting out of a chair a struggle.
Research suggests that up to 20 per cent are not satisfied with the results of their operation, with a limited range of motion being one of the top complaints.
This is often caused by arthrofibrosis — where excessive scar tissue forms after surgery, creating adhesions, bands of tissue, which restrict movement in the joint.
The condition occurs in up to 13 per cent of knee replacements.
Some research suggests that exercise is key to regaining as great a range of movement as possible in order to combat the restrictive effects. Exercises, which can include stretches, knee bends and leg raises, can be repetitive and painful, which may mean patients stop doing them.
The Maxm Skate, which is being trialled at Flinders University in Australia, is designed to put the knee and leg through a variety of movements without placing pressure on the new joint.
Its inventor, Dr Matthew Liptak, an