Designing and Testing a Novel Custom 3D-Modeled Post-Operative Knee Brace; Supporting Knee Joint Health to Promote Longevity and Wellbeing

Burtner, Tyler, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
JACQUES, RICHARD, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Johnson, Dave
Miroulis, George
Scire, Benjamin

My STS research paper examined the economic and health burden created by the incidence of chronic knee pain among the U.S. population. I began by summarizing the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis, the most common form of chronic knee pain, and then I described the significant economic burden caused by the management and treatment of knee osteoarthritis. I continued by establishing the link between knee osteoarthritis and exercise and longevity. I not only argued that knee pain causes a decrease in physical activity, but I also inferred that a decrease in physical activity leads to a shortening of a patient’s life span, as evidenced by the high incidence of comorbidities among patients with knee osteoarthritis. In the remainder of the paper, I took a closer look at knee osteoarthritis comorbidities. After determining causality, I was able to develop a model equation which I used to estimate the larger burden of knee osteoarthritis on society.
For my technical project, my team and I designed and created a custom 3D modeled post-operative knee brace with an adjustable range of motion to be used over the entirety of a patient’s recovery process and rehabilitation. Our design integrates multiple features into one device: full joint-immobilization, adjustable flexion and extension restrictions, and a system for dynamic tensioning commonly used in unloader braces. We conducted extensive material testing, and following the execution of a patient testing protocol to assess the efficacy of the brace in promoting improved patient outcomes, our novel brace will ultimately be the first custom modeled post-operative brace on the market that accommodates each stage of rehabilitation.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Unloading brace, total knee arthroplasty, knee flexion contracture, flexion, extension, rehabilitation, Ascencer brace, comorbidity, chronic knee pain, longevity
Sponsoring Agency:
Icarus Medical Innovations

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Technical Advisors: Dave Johnson, George Miroulis, Benjamin Scire
STS Advisor: Richard Jacques
Technical Team Members: Sabrina Alessi, Madeline Corona, Liam Kidd, Kyleigh Talomie

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: