GPS knees: how digital mapping can create a more comfortable fit

A new artificial knee may not feel as good as it should, if the fit isn't just right.

To combat that problem, doctors at Northridge Hospital in Los Angeles, doctors are using new technology to create a GPS style map of the knee, before they replace it.

"The more accurate the parts are implanted the better they work and the longer they last," says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jamie Hernandez.

So, to improve accuracy, the digital navigation system sends infrared signals from the knee to a computer and creates this map of the area. The device then gives extremely accurate real-time measurements so the doctor can be sure everything is perfectly aligned. Then, a second device is used to check the pressure of the knee to ensure an ideal fit.

It still requires a few weeks of rehab, but hopefully, a better fit means the implant could last longer.

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