Assessment of Hip and Knee Joints and Implants Using Acoustic Emission Monitoring: A Scoping Review

Liudmila Khokhlova*, Sokratis Komaris, Salvatore Tedesco, Brendan O'Flynn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Population ageing and the subsequent increase of joint disorders prevalence requires the development of non-invasive and early diagnostic methods to enable timely medical assistance and promote healthy aging. Over the last decades, acoustic emission (AE) monitoring, a technique widely used in non-destructive testing, has also been introduced in orthopedics as a diagnostic tool. This review aims to synthesize the literature on the use of AE monitoring for the assessment of hip and knee joints or implants, highlighting the practical aspects and implementation considerations. Methods: this review was conducted as per the PRISMA statement for scoping reviews. All types of studies, with no limits on date of publication, were considered. Articles were assessed and study design parameters and technical characteristics were extracted from relevant studies. Results: conducted search identified 1379 articles and 64 were kept for charting. Seven additional articles were added at a later stage. Reviewed works were grouped into studies on joint condition assessment, implant assessment, and hardware or software development. Native knees and hip implants were most commonly assessed. The most researched conditions were osteoarthritis, implant loosening or squeaking in vivo and structural damage of implants in vitro. Conclusion: in recent years, AE monitoring showed potential of becoming a useful diagnostic tool for lower limb pathologies. However, further research is needed to refine the existing methods and assess their feasibility in early diagnostics. Significance: The current state of research on AE monitoring for hip and knee joint assessment is described and future research directions are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14379-14388
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number13
Early online date16 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 IEEE. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 11, 2020; accepted December 7, 2020. Date of publication December 16, 2020; date of current version June 30, 2021. This work was supported by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under Grant number 12/RC/2289-P2 (INSIGHT) and in part under Grant numbers 13/RC/2077 (CONNECT) and 16/RC/3918 (CONFIRM) which are co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


  • Acoustic emission
  • implant
  • joints
  • medical diagnosis
  • orthopedics


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