Do Women Need Their Own Implants for Knee Replacement?Women are more likely than men to have arthritis-related disability. They are three times less likely to have a total knee replacement (TKR) compared to men. And when they get a new knee, it's much later than men.
In this article, researchers investigate the need for an implant designed just for women. Such an implant could be sized down to meet the needs of the female anatomy.
Reviewing results of other studies, the authors found that a gender-specific implant may not be needed. A narrower implant with less overhang on the sides may be all that's required. Larger women with a higher body mass index (BMI) (30 or more) have a larger thigh so a small implant isn't always needed.
The goal of a TKR is to decrease pain in order to improve motion and function. The goal of recreating perfect anatomy with a designer implant isn't cost-effective. Giving the patient a stable joint with balanced soft tissues around the knee is more important than developing a separate system for men and women.
William P. Barrett, MD. The Need for Gender-Specific Prostheses in TKA: Does Size Make a Difference? In Orthopedics. September 2006. Vol. 29. No. 9. Pp. 53-55.
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