Walker Lab

The laboratory carries out research studies related to implant design, evaluation, and function, with a particular focus on the knee joint. Previous work included basic biomechanical studies on the knee in relation to load transfer, stability mechanisms, and kinematics. This led to the development of two innovative implants designed to restore normal function to the arthritic knee. The first was the Early Intervention knee which replaces precisely the arthritic areas using small components which are amenable to minimally invasive-day surgery. The second was the Replica Anatomic knee for more severe arthritis where the bearing surfaces provide differential stability of the lateral and medial sides, restoring anatomic mechanics.

Surgical technique is a major focus, including analysis of the effects of soft tissues on laxity and stability, such that the knee is restored to a balanced state. Electronic sensors and mechanical devices are used to measure this during surgery. Follow-up studies are attempting to relate balancing and implant design to the functional outcomes. An additional focus is to design fully-assembled total knee instruments using 3D printing, to simplify and systemize the procedure so that more consistent results can be obtained.

The work of the laboratory is typically presented at several international conferences each year, and published in peer-reviewed journals. In 2018, Dr Walker was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award of The Knee Society, for sustained work in the area of the knee.