Calypso Knee: No replacement needed

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the very first time in the United States, surgeons have implanted a new device designed to relieve knee pain in patients with arthritis. The Calypso Knee Device is putting spring back in the steps of people whose knees have been worn down after years of use.

Chuck Stenger used to be in pain taking Storm and Ashes around the block. Thirty-three years as a professional firefighter took a toll on his joints.

"I was on an accident scene, and I was kneeling down to treat a patient and it felt like a nail was going through my knee," said Stenger.

It wasn't a nail, it was arthritis. Stenger struggled for years with pain and was considering knee replacement when he learned about a new option.

The Calypso Knee System is being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Surgeons make a six-inch incision on the inside of the knee and insert the device.

"You're putting a shock absorber outside the knee joint on the inner portion of the knee so that when they are walking that shock absorber takes some of the load off," said David Flanigan, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Wexner Medical Center.

Doctors say the hope is that the device will delay or eliminate a patient's need to have knee replacement. Stenger was the first patient in the country to have the Calypso implanted.

"The second day post op, I put the crutches away," Stenger shared.

There's a small bump on the side of his knee, otherwise Stenger can't feel the device, but he knows it's working.

"Walking the dogs is not a problem now. Up and down stairs. With this Calypso, if it works for me, I hope it helps a lot of other people too," Stenger told Ivanhoe.

For now, back on his feet, almost pain-free.

Stenger is retired from the fire department, but he's looking forward to supporting local firefighters in a nonpaid rehabilitation position. Researchers are studying the Calypso Knee Device, developed by the company Moximed, in 80 patients before it would be available nationwide. In European studies, the implant has provided pain relief for a decade for some patients.