German formal - SieEnglish

First knee implant especially for women
It has long been known, and indeed scientifically proven, that there are gender-specific differences in the anatomy of the knee. As a rule, women are smaller than men, have wider hips and smaller knee joints and their knee caps are positioned at a steeper angle to the thighbone. Yet to date, despite the fact that about 70% of all patients are women, the design of traditional knee prostheses has been based on average values calculated primarily with reference to the male anatomy. The consequence is that after their operation women lose an average of seven to eight degrees of mobility and also complain more of pain. In response to this, the American surgical product company Zimmer Inc. has developed a prosthesis which takes into account the special gender-specific features of both sexes. With "Gender Solutions" femoral components, doctors can now choose sizes and shapes specifically produced for men or women.

Professor Bernd Kabelka, Chief Consultant at the Tabea Hospital in Hamburg, comments, "Previously women have tended to suffer more from short-term complications after the operation. Now changes to the implant design have reduced the likelihood of knee cap complications and ligament and soft tissue corrections. This will probably make it possible to reduce not only the short-term but also some of the long-term complications."

Although the implants have been developed primarily with the female anatomy in mind, it is also possible to conceive of cases where they would be more suitable for men, and where a male joint would fit a woman better. In the final analysis it is the experienced surgeon who decides which implant is best suited to which patient "- perhaps even in the course of the operation," according to Professor Kabelka.

Although the new joints are 25% more expensive than traditional implants, the surgeon insists that "for us our patients are worth this extra".