Dr. Jik Chin explains his ORIF knee recovery after an accident on an electronic scooter. He travelled from Toronto, Canada to SE Michigan to do 10 days on the X10. As a scientist he put the X10 through its paces in his hotel room. His first testimonial for any product, Dr. Chin was excited to share news about his experience with the X10.
In 10 days Dr. Chin gained 30+ degrees bending in his knee six weeks after his surgery. Within a few days he was able to use an elliptical machine and begin to regain his pre-surgery health. He considers his days with the X10 robot to be instrumental in his overall recovery.
“I compare the X10 knee robot to something like a knee CPM machine for example. It’s like comparing a dial phone to an iPhone X. Yes, they both can make calls and you can contact your friends. But one is so much powerful. It’s computerized, automated. It’s, so helpful to find where your limits are in terms of your personal pain threshold.”
Is this for you?
Listen to the podcast or read the text below if you are recovering from a patella fracture, ORIF or other knee surgery like ACL or knee replacement. The audio interview provides a very detailed explanation from a patient’s perspective, about how working with the X10 can solve a knee recovery challenge.
ORIF Knee Recovery on X10
an interview with University of Toronto Professor, Dr. Jik Chin
My name is Jik Chin. I was born in Los Angeles. My father was a diplomat. But let’s fast forward to Toronto, Canada. I am a professor at The University of Toronto. My specific areas of interest are Biological and Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry.
Moving Around Quickly
I enjoy riding electric kick scooters. I bought a couple of them and I’ve been riding them all over the place… until I fell down and broke my patella into multiple fragments in the spring. I called 911. I needed an operation right away.
I didn’t know the surgeon, but he did a wonderful job of putting it together with pins and wires. In addition, he said that I had a rip in the tendon in front of the patella. As you can imagine, if you fall on concrete going 25 kilometers an hour, you’re going to break the bone as well as the tendon.
He called this an ORIF surgery of the knee. That stands for open reduction, internal fixation. Open meaning you opened the knee, reduction means you gather together all the bones that have been broken and spread apart. You have to reduce it and then fix it with wires, metals, an internal fixation. This kind of surgery can be done on your hands and elbows. But mine was ORIF of the knee. Not all people with this surgery have their tendons torn. Because of that it was more tricky for him to stitch those ripped tendons.
My ORIF Knee Recovery Begins
It was a tricky operation, having to stitch the tendon as well as to put the bones together. After the surgery my surgeon’s instructions to me were, “Jik, you can’t do anything for the next six weeks. Don’t move your knees.” While scar tissue has a big head start, I couldn’t do anything about it. Thankfully after four weeks, he looked at my knee, and when I told him that I wasn’t in pain, he said, “now it’s time for physiotherapy.”
And so we started some physiotherapy with a wonderful physiotherapist. She was compassionate, kind, gentle, but pretty strong when it comes to bending my knees. However, being a scientist, I really wanted to know what is the latest and greatest that technology has to offer when it comes to knee therapy.
My Knee Rehabilitation Research
I did a lot of research into what’s the latest and greatest. To my disappointment, I couldn’t really see anything new, especially for ORIF knee recovery. A lot of them were old technologies, and clamps, and fixing the angle of your knees and your elbows, and things like that. But nothing that is computerized, and nothing that is ‘futuristic’ until I came across a robot called X10 Therapy. The first few videos, testimonials, were really wonderful. But I really wanted some hard facts. You know, why is this so special?
I was wearing the brace for four weeks. And then there were two weeks of physiotherapy. It was during those two weeks that I found out about X10. That’s ultimately when I thought I have to go to Michigan and try this out.
Why Travel to Michigan?
The thing that really got me interested and made a lot of sense is that for some things, robots are better than humans. One of those things is repetition. I can ask a robot to repeat something a million times. With a human, maybe 10 times, maybe 20 times, and they’ll get mad at me. More importantly, a robot has precision. No human, myself included, can bend my angle to whatever degree that I want to: 72 degrees to 85 degrees to 101 degrees, whatever you want. The robot will do it precisely, reproducibly with repetition, as many times as you want. And then, thirdly, in terms of precision, it is the force that you use. I can’t reproduce exactly the same amount of force to bend my knees. And I can’t trust anyone to bend my knees in a predictable way.
The X10 Knee Robot
A robot can exert exactly one pound of force, two pounds of force, three pounds of force. And what’s beautiful about that is the force is completely proportional to pain. Basically, what the robot is doing is really digitizing my pain. When somebody asked ‘me how much did it hurt’, I say, oh, a little bit. Or it hurt a lot. But what does that really mean? This knee robot digitizes it in a reproducible way, a hundred times, a thousand times, a million times, whatever you want.
When I came to Michigan, the bending of my knee was at about 70 degrees. If I really, really painfully pushed it, it was going up to 80 degrees. I needed a robot to play around where I could maximize the bending.
Productive Range of Motion
There’s no point in me working on 50 degrees when I can bend to 80 degrees. There’s no point in me trying to go from 80 degrees to 100 degrees if it requires too much force, which will be way too painful. Having this machine in Michigan, in my hotel room, I could experiment with all of these different levels of forces and work on my weaknesses to get my bending going.
But that’s only one part of the story. It was really wonderful to not only have this amazing knee robot working for me, but to work with coaches from X10. My coaching team not only inspired me, but showed me all the details of how to use the robot to strengthen my hamstring, quads, and my calves. And that synergistically helped my range of motion. Lisa and Erin, my X10 Coaches, know a lot about X10, and told me how to use the X10 to strengthen my muscles, and how best to get the most out of my little knee robot.
X10 Therapy provided me with human interaction, with compassion, with understanding. Robots aren’t very good at inspiring you or telling you what to do. There are some things that humans can do better than robots: making eye to eye contact and being inspired, and cheering you on. At the end of the day robots make life easier. That doesn’t mean that you will be fixed entirely by the robot by itself. You have to put in a lot of effort. And you need a human coach who really pushes you and inspires you as well as to give you technical details of how to use the robot to maximize your benefits.
Motivated by My Results
As a scientist, when you do an experiment you want the results now. But often you have to wait a month or a year to get the results. You do the experiment, but the results come out later. By the time the results come out, you’ve lost your motivation. You’ve lost your interest in that experiment.
The beauty of the X10 knee robot is that it’s a touchscreen. You get to control it. It’s very user-friendly. It’s very intuitive and you get your result in real-time as you do the experiments. So you get to see how much force is being used that translates to how much discomfort or pain you can select. Then dial in your pain as little or as much as you want. But it’s to your interest to not put too much pain because that causes swelling, that goes against bending particularly 6-7 weeks into an ORIF knee recovery…
Managing Your Discomfort (Lbs. of Pressure)
You get to go from one lb. to two lbs. to three lbs. to four lbs. And let’s say they cause no pain. Lb. 4 causes a little bit of discomfort. Lb. 10 causes quite a bit of pain. Quite a bit of pain can give you the angle that you want in a shorter period of time, but it may cause swelling. All of these experiments that you do, you see on the screen in real-time. This is why I compare the X10 robot to something like a CPM for example. It’s like comparing a dial phone to an iPhone X. Yes, they both can make calls and you can contact your friends on those phones. But one is so much powerful. It’s computerized, automated. It’s, so helpful to find where your limits are in terms of your personal pain threshold.
My Pain Threshold
We all have different pain thresholds. This X10 machine allows me to find where my pain threshold is, and where my bending threshold is. And that’s where I want to work to increase the bending and improve my physical ability during this ORIF knee recovery.
I really like walking, playing golf and doing exercises. I walk seven or eight miles a day, and all of a sudden when all of this happened I had to stop. It’s just not my knee by itself. My heart is not getting a good workout, so I’m not as tired to get a good night’s sleep. It took me over 60 years to find out how important a patella is, or any other part of your body. If it’s not functioning properly, it affects your whole mind and body and spirit.
A Knee Jerk Reaction
My physiotherapists would say, “don’t fight back” when she’s bending my knee. And I’m not trying to fight back. However, it’s an unconscious reaction when someone who is going to apply force and pain to your already damaged knee. It’s just that knee jerk reaction. She would hold my good leg because my good leg will unconsciously kick out. I found all of that disappears when you’re working with the X10 machine because you set the dial and the dial is reproducible.
I can’t tell my physiotherapists, no matter how good she,“Hey, can you repeat what you just did two minutes ago or 10 minutes ago or one hour ago, you know, that was just the right pressure?”
Unless I’m relaxed, my physiotherapists can’t help me. But I tense up because I’m imagining the pain that is not there yet. I’m anticipating pain because there is uncertainty in the pressure and the pain that is to come when it is applied by a human. But if it is under your control and it is digitized, and it is coming from a robot, then it is predictable. I’m relaxed. I’m ready for one, two, three lbs. of pressure because I set the dial. When you’re in control you feel much more at ease. I think your mind plays games with you that you actually feel a lot more pain than is there if it is unpredictable. But if it is predictable, then you get what you ask for and it’s manageable.
The Knee Robot and Digital Recovery
This is what’s so useful about a robot where everything is digitized and you do it and the knee robot performs, obeys your command in high definition. It’s not analog, it’s digital. It’s in ‘high definition’ because it breaks pain into many, many different steps from not painful at all, to mildly uncomfortable to all the way to highly painful in a reproducible way. There is really nothing like it out there. And I was surprised and delighted that someone actually thought of this and got it out.
Getting Started on the X10
The first day I was shown how to use the instrument. Marty from X10 showed me how to use it. Once he left I was in the hotel room all by myself with the robot. I could experiment however I wanted. And so I could actually push the robot to bend my knee as much as it could without pain. This robot is as rock-solid as it looks, yet it’s very gently moving my legs back and forth. Very slowly. One minute per cycle type of thing. I think it’s because of that I was able to get five or six more degrees than the day before right off the bat. That was really encouraging.
After a few days there was continuous progress and up until that point I wasn’t able to use any traditional exercise machines like the elliptical machine. All of a sudden I could use them.
Self-Driving Cars, Self-Driving Knee Rehabilitation?
People talk about self-driving cars. That’s all part of robotics and is incredibly interesting. It’s important work that Elon Musk and others are doing in that area. This knee robot, unlike self-driving cars, which is really technology for the future, it’s already there. It’s already better than us. It’s already better in terms of repetition, in terms of pain, using a digital amount of force, and being able to precisely control angle. Those are things that X10 Therapy has already developed and now it can continue to improve on it. But the core of it is already amazingly useful.
It was the first time in six or seven weeks since the operation that I was able to get a full workout. Not only was it good for my knee, I think it was good for my brain because my blood circulation was really wonderful, and my heart rate was pumping. It was really good. That allowed me to sleep really well. So it’s not just helping my knee, but my whole well being.
I feel that I’m walking a lot faster. And I’m moving my legs a lot faster when I walk. Sometimes I make progress and I don’t realize it. And that’s when my wife tells me, “oh, you’re walking like you used to.” And that’s, that’s when I go, Oh yeah, that’s right I made those improvements over the last 10 days. With the X10 knee robot, I have doubled my quad strength and increased my hamstring strength one and a half times.
My Fitbit tracks my walking. When I injured my knee, my Fitbit says, “how come you’re not exercising anymore?” It doesn’t know that I had been injured. I couldn’t talk back to Fitbit. Now that I’m doing all of these exercises, it does show up on, on Fitbit, in terms of my heart rate, my resting heart rate is going down. It’s thanks to all the exercises that the robot is helping me do.
My X10 Testimonial
This is the first time that I’ve done a testimonial, ever, about anything at my age. The more that I thought about it, what I received is so much, I had to do something about this amazing technology that is out there. And the sense that I get is that this is an ongoing technology. It is still developing. This is something that is making amazing leaps and bounds. And I really look forward to the future of this technology. A lot of patients are involved in a research study. All of this is going into a database, and eventually, it will be part of artificial intelligence. It will be part of computer data and the development of hardware and technology. It requires that doctors and engineers from different disciplines work together. I’m just so grateful that there is such a machine in this world.
There were a lot of people who motivated me. My students motivated me, you guys, at X10 Therapy motivated me a lot, and my family of course. And you know, you really can’t do it alone. This technology has been an amazing help.
My Decision to Try It
I think the X10 Therapy staff made it really easy for me to make my decision. It was a very comfortable environment. This was really like a genuine research environment where I could talk to scientists who are very much involved in the statistics of it. But thankfully, PJ answered my question and then the ball started rolling. And within a few weeks, I got to meet the inventor of this amazing robot Paul Ewing. And so that was a huge bonus.
Sometimes we are vulnerable and we don’t want to bother anybody with our problems. Why should I go and bother anybody? But this was such a positive environment. The staff was genuinely interested in seeing how this technology could help my knees. That made it easier for me to approach X10 and say, “Hey, you know, what do you think about this? Can we have lunch together? Can we have this discussion?” It was amazing how forthcoming everybody was.
We call it a “Meta-Blog.” We step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health as with this article on ‘ORIF knee recovery’.
In this one-of-a-kind blog, we gather together great thinkers, doers, and writers. All our work is related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success, and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. This is for you if you have a surgery upcoming, or in the rear-view mirror. Or maybe you just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing
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