MOBILE MONITORING SYSTEM: Patients at the University of Maryland's Medical Center's inpatient orthopedics unit are given hardware that allows staff to monitor their progress at all times of day and night. Blood pressure cuffs and pulse/oxygen meters are connected to a transmitter carried in a pouch. Constant monitoring makes physical therapy safer and allows patients to exercise safely, to promote a quick recovery. Any irregularities in monitored readings trigger alarms to alert staff.
WHEN GOOD JOINTS GO BAD: A healthy knee bends easily, absorbs stress and glides smoothly so that we can walk, squat, or turn without pain. When the knee is damaged, it is less able to handle stress, causing pain and swelling. Injuries to the ACL are the most common. Often there is a loud "pop" -- the sound of the ligament tearing --followed by pain and immediate swelling. After those symptoms subside, the patient may still experience episodes of instability, often likened to walking on roller skates. The knee may feel loose. In serious cases, surgical repair may be required.