The Design Process

Has a Systematic Design Process Been Applied to Artificial Knees?
  • Peter S. Walker


Everything which has been designed has been subject to some design process. The simplest process involves several steps: defining a need or conceiving an idea for something useful; defining the design criteria, what exactly the design is intended to achieve; formulating possible solutions; testing those solutions; and then reaching a final design. This simple process can be made more realistic by accounting for the trial and error which is always involved, by the interactions between various specialists, and by the different time points when new ideas can emerge. This has been termed controlled convergence by Stuart Pugh Ph.D. Testing the ideas in a more in-depth way as the process proceeds is critical and is necessary for ensuring the safety and efficacy of the final design. The design processes of the early artificial knee designs of Gunston, Freeman and Swanson, Townley, and Kodama and Yamamoto were analyzed, to determine their effectiveness. From today, future advances can be achieved by setting more stringent and demanding design criteria to achieve yet greater reliability, functionality, and low cost.


Artificial knee design Design process Design criteria Controlled convergence Systematic design Testing methods Safety and efficacy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter S. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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