What to expect from treatment with the KneeReviver

If you have osteoarthritis of the knee?

  • You have painful knee osteoarthritis.
  • You are under 65 years
    of age.
  • Conservative treatment is not efficient anymore.
  • Do you have an indication for knee replacement?
  • Do you wish for joint preserving treatment?
  • Do you meet the criteria
    for the treatment?

» Knee joint distraction is an option for you

Knee joint distraction:

  • external frame at both sides of the knee
  • knee joint surfaces are put on a short distance
  • temporary unloading treatment
  • may result in regeneration of joint tissues

During this temporary (~6 weeks) treatment:

  • you are allowed to bear weight however cannot bend your knee.
  • you should be able to take care of the frame.
  • the skin around the pins can get infected (pin-tract infection). If so, ask your doctor for advice.
  • After removal of the KneeReviver you can immediately start with your rehabilitation.
  • In a couple of months the pain is reduced and your knee is functional again.
  • Joint preserving treatment
  • Delay of knee replacement.

A short movie

Introducing knee joint distraction treatment with the KneeReviver

  • End-stage osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Age <65 years
  • Joint preserving surgical treatment
  • Postponing knee replacement
  • Return to an active lifestyle

Why choose for knee joint distraction?

Advantages of treatment with the KneeReviver:

  • Patients receiving a knee prosthesis under the age of 65 years have an increased risk of failure of this prosthesis. Patients at this age are in general still very active and this is related to accelerated wear of the prosthesis.
  • A first prosthesis can be replaced (revised), however the clinical outcome (pain, function) is generally less good as after the primary placed prosthesis.
  • A knee prosthesis does not feel naturally and it is sometimes hard to return to the degree of physical activities.
  • Knee joint distraction is not at the expense of your own knee. So natural coordination and use of the knee will be like before and all other treatment options are still possible, if needed when complaints may return.

Knee joint distraction is a joint preserving

surgical treatment with use of the KneeReviver.


I was the first patient in the world to have this surgery

Raymond Rijs about his knee distraction

Actually, it all started with a complicated leg fracture due to a game of football in 1968. The fracture was incorrectly reduced at the time, which put both my foot and knee into a wrong position. This resulted in a period of about twenty years into a lot of problems, such as difficulties in walking and increasing pain in my knee due to osteoarthritis. The first surgery to correct the abnormal position of the leg completely failed and my leg was in risk of amputation. Finally, I came to Dr. Van Roermund who knew a solution for the osteoarthritis of the knee joint as well. He had good experiences with distraction of painful osteoarthritic ankle joints but distracting an osteoarthritic knee joint was never done before. However, I suffered so much pain and trusted him so that I dared to be the first one in the world to get this treatment. That was in 2002 with good results.

In 2016 the knee pain reoccurred and in 2018 a total knee replacement was given, 16 years after the knee joint distraction. One year later the other knee joint was replaced also by a total knee prosthesis. It is very special that my total knee replacement could be postponed for such a long time. Now I’m still walking without pain. My one leg is slightly shorter than the other but that doesn’t matter. I can cycle, skate and even ski. As a volunteer at a vineyard where I regularly give tours, I walk a lot on uneven terrain: no problem. I can easily walk 10 kilometers before I feel anything. Truly wonderful.

Raymond Rijs

January 2022

Mobility is so much better

Caroline Eekhart about her knee distraction

At age 18, I had a small bicycle accident. From then on, several surgeries followed and in 2018 progressive osteoarthritis grade 4 was diagnosed. This was quite a disappointment but confirmed my fears.

I didn’t run anymore, the laps with the dog became shorter and shorter, I slept very badly, was always in pain, used medication all the time and compensated at the expense of other joints. The pain and limitations had a great impact on my mood, my work, and my daily life.

I had a knee distraction surgery with KneeReviver in the summer of 2019. During the distraction, the pain was almost gone. The frame was painful but that was only temporary and not comparable with the knee pain I had before. After so many years of constant pain, it was remarkable that at night I felt no pain at all.

I am now able to do my daily 10,000 steps again, my mobility is so much better but even more, the pain is almost gone. After rehab, I didn’t take any pain medication any more. I realize that I don’t have a new and healthy knee but for the time being I don’t need a knee replacement. If I can avoid that by doing another knee joint distraction I definitely would do it again!

Caroline Eekhart

January 2022

And now I am considering knee distraction on my other knee.

Mark Larkin about his knee distraction with the KneeReviver

I live in Geneva (Switzerland), and I am 50 years.

I was always active and did a lot of sport. When I was 21 years, I ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament. I have had surgery, and continued to play football, rugby, skiing and run.

However, when I was around 40, I was no longer able to run, and was getting increasing pain. I tried conservative therapies like physiotherapy and injections of hyaluronic acid, but neither prevented continued deterioration. By the time I was 48, my daily activities were impaired: I could walk only short distances and was getting increasing pain.

The only option was total knee replacement, which would not have lasted longer than 15 years. Subsequently I would have needed a revision procedure which would likely have given poor results.

I had knee joint distraction in June 2022. The surgeries were easy, but the 45 days with the KneeReviver were quite tough. But since then the knee has improved, and it is now better than before the surgery. I can walk longer distances, cycle and go up and down stairs. And it is no longer deteriorating as it was before the surgery, so the rationale of delaying that total knee replacement surgery with knee distraction seems valid.
I also have problems on my other knee, also caused by sports injuries. So given my positive experiences I am now considering knee distraction on that knee too.

Mark Larkin

February 2024

February 2024

Treatment information

Currently, knee joint distraction with use of the KneeReviver is performed in selected hospitals in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.


Find a hospital

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        The decision to perform knee joint distraction is taken in consultation with your orthopedic surgeon. Information given on this website is only advisatory and based on the regular patient. If your personal situation is abberant, your orthopedic surgeon may decide to personalize the treatment.