The Atlas Knee System knee joint unloader from Moximed Inc, Hayward Calif, has earned the CE Mark in conjunction with what is reported as the first commercial uses of the product in Europe.

Joint unloading is a therapy said to be growing more common as the need for alternatives to end-stage joint replacement becomes more evident. Between 1990 and 2010, the incidence of symptomatic knee OA skyrocketed, particularly among patients 35 to 65 years of age.1 First performed in the 1960s, knee joint replacement has provided benefit for many patients, but its suitability for active adults of the 21st century reportedly is coming under increasing clinical scrutiny. Recent studies show that younger or active patients experience higher reoperation rates and higher levels of residual pain and dissatisfaction.2,3 The Atlas System is specifically designed for patients wishing to preserve both their knee and their lifestyle.

“The Atlas System provides the same amount of joint unloading as the previous generation device, but it now offers a smaller device footprint and a surgical technique customized to the patient’s own anatomy,” states Claudio Zorzi, MD, Ospedale Sacro Cuore Don Calabria in Negrar (Verona), Italy, in a news release from Moximed.

“We anticipate the Atlas System will be used for a significant portion of our knee practice,” Zorzi continues. Along with Zorzi’s associate, Vincenzo Madonna, MD, the two are said to have the most worldwide experience with Moximed’s earlier generation joint unloader.

According to a media release from Moximed, the Atlas System design was evaluated in a 40-patient, prospective, multi-center clinical study. One of the study investigators, Konrad Slynarski, MD, of Lekmed Szpital in Warsaw, Poland commented, “My practice treats many young, active patients with mild osteoarthritis. I was amazed at the overwhelming patient interest in receiving joint unloading therapy, and I was very happy with my patients’ consistently rapid recovery and return to daily activities. I have already shifted my practice patterns to offer the Atlas System to patients.”

Another of the investigators in the study was Willem van der Merwe, MD, FCS (SA) of the Sports Science Orthopaedic Clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, who notes, “I enrolled my full allotment into the study and could have enrolled additional subjects. I believe the Atlas System could be a pre-arthroplasty treatment solution for people who are too young or not ready for joint replacement, and I look forward to adding the service as a regular part of my practice.”

“We are pleased with the early clinical results and surgeon interest in the Atlas System,” Moximed CEO Kevin Sidow states in a news release. “Building on our 7 years of clinical experience with joint unloading, we are confident that the Atlas System will make a positive impact for osteoarthritis patients worldwide. We believe the Atlas System provides a significant segment of osteoarthritis sufferers the joint preserving option that will allow them to live the highly active lives that they expect and deserve.”

1 Medtech Insight: Knee OA: Growing Demand for Non-surgical Options, 2011.

2 Meehan et al. Younger Age is Associated with a Higher Risk of Early Periprosthetic Joint Infection and Aseptic Mechanical Failure After TKA. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014;96:529-35.

3 Parvizi et al. High level of residual symptoms in young patients after total knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014;472:133-7.

[Source: Moximed]