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Shapelier Knee Replacements for Women

Orthopedic surgeons at Rush University have developed the first knee replacement shaped to fit a woman's anatomy. IIt has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and will be distributed to orthopedic surgeons to use next week. // Dr. Aaron G. Rosenberg and Dr. Richard A. Berger, orthopedic surgeons were two of the 10 developer surgeons who sought to address shape-related differences of a woman’s knee.

The Gender Solutions High-Flex Knee, made by Zimmer, Inc, is designed based on three distinct and scientifically documented shape differences between women's and men’s knees. The implant addresses the shape-related differences typical of a woman's knee: a narrower shape; thinner shape, and the need for more natural motion for the knee when walking.

‘Knee implants have been functioning very well for men and women, but we want to meet women's unique needs by making knee replacements that feel, fit and function even better,’ says Rosenberg. ‘The implant is the best of both worlds. It's based on the current implant we use, a highly successful implant with great mechanics and 10 years of clinical success. Only the shape of this new implant is different, to make it feel more natural.’

The clearance allows Zimmer to begin distributing the implant to U.S. orthopedic surgeons and hospitals as part of Zimmer’s NexGen Complete Knee System. The Gender Solutions Knee will be implanted using existing, clinically successful surgical techniques, including Zimmer's minimally invasive approaches. Rosenberg and other surgeons who helped with development will be using the implant in patients next week. The implant is expected to be globally available this fall.

The Need for a Woman’s Knee Implant ‘Mounting research indicates that a woman’s knee is not simply a smaller version of a man’s knee. The differences involve the bones, ligaments and tendons in the joints,’ says Rosenberg. ‘Women can wear men’s clothing and
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