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Shapelier Knee Replacements for Women

When the cartilage is gone, the bones of the knee grind against each other, wearing away and typically causing severe pain. Total knee replacement involves removing the portion of bone that is damaged and resurfacing the knee with metal and plastic implants.

Historically, implants used for knee replacement have been designed based upon an average between the size of women’s and men’s knees. Total knee replacement is a highly successful surgery, strongly supported by more than 20 years of follow-up data, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus statement on total knee replacement released in February 2004. The NIH consensus panel concluded that total knee replacement provides substantial improvement in patients’ pain, functional status, and overall health-related quality of life in about nine out of 10 patients.

Three Distinct Differences The Gender Solutions implant addresses the following research-documented, shape-related differences of a woman's knee:

Narrower Shape, Proportioned to Female Anatomy: When determining the appropriate-sized implant, surgeons measure the end of the femur from front to back and from side to side. Women’s knees typically are narrower from side to side, and are more trapezoid-shaped, whereas men’s knees are more rectangle-shaped. Surgeons typically choose the implant size based on the front-to-back measurement, which is key in allowing the knee to move and flex properly. However, an implant that fits a woman’s knee from front to back often will be too wide from side to side, leading to the implant overhanging the bone and potentially pressing on, or damaging, surrounding ligaments and tendons, possibly causing pain. The Gender Solutions knee is proportionally contoured to the entire bone to provide a more precise fit.

Thinner Shape: The bone in the front of a woman's knee is typically less prominent than in a man's knee. Therefore, when a traditional implant
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