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(Background) Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) provide a low-cost, portable solution to obtain functional measures similar to those captured with three-dimensional gait analysis, including spatiotemporal gait characteristics. The primary aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of a remote patient monitoring (RPM) workflow using ankle-worn IMUs measuring impact load, limb impact load asymmetry and knee range of motion in combination with patient-reported outcome measures. (Methods) A pilot cohort of 14 patients undergoing primary knee arthroplasty for osteoarthritis was prospectively enrolled. RPM in the community was performed weekly from 2 up to 6 weeks post-operatively using wearable IMUs. The following data were collected using IMUs: mobility (Bone Stimulus and cumulative impact load), impact load asymmetry and maximum knee flexion angle. In addition, scores from the Oxford Knee Score (OKS), EuroQol Five-dimension (EQ-5D) with EuroQol visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS) and 6 Minute Walk Test were collected. (Results) On average, the Bone Stimulus and cumulative impact load improved 52% (p = 0.002) and 371% (p = 0.035), compared to Post-Op Week 2. The impact load asymmetry value trended (p = 0.372) towards equal impact loading between the operative and non-operative limb. The mean maximum flexion angle achieved was 99.25◦ at Post-Operative Week 6, but this was not significantly different from pre-operative measurements (p = 0.1563). There were significant improvements in the mean EQ-5D (0.20; p = 0.047) and OKS (10.86; p < 0.001) scores both by 6 weeks after surgery, compared to pre-operative scores. (Conclusions) This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of a reliable and low-maintenance workflow system to remotely monitor post-operative progress in knee arthroplasty patients. Preliminary data indicate IMU outputs relating to mobility, impact load asymmetry and range of motion can be obtained using commercially available IMU sensors. Further studies are required to directly correlate the IMU sensor outputs with patient outcomes to establish clinical significance.

Original publication

DOI

10.3390/s21155143

Type

Journal article

Journal

Sensors

Publication Date

01/08/2021

Volume

21