Today knee replacements have come a long way. The latest is gender specific artificial knee developed especially for women. This development is important considering the fact that almost 70 per cent of patients going in for knee replacements are women.
Women skeletal features are different from that of men. Their knee is generally smaller as compared to men. The design of the gender knee implant is based on computer imaging of a woman, it is narrower, thinner and tracks at a different angle to match woman’s knee shape and size. Since it is thinner, the knee replacement feels natural and the bulky feeling is done away with. It has a contoured shape proportioned to fit a woman’s anatomy. Its biggest advantage is – it allows for full knee flexion. Patients can sit cross-legged on the floor and there is no kneecap discomfort whatsoever,” explains Dr Ashish Jain, consultant, Joint Replacement Specialist at Max Hospital, Delhi.
The severe pain in knees can be due to arthritis, injury or other infections, which cause deterioration of the cartilage in the knees. The knee joint is composed of three bones: the end of the femur (thighbone), the top of the tibia (shinbone) and the patella (kneecap), which are all held together by tendons and ligaments and cushioned by cartilage. When this cartilage declines, then bones of the knee grind against each other, wearing away and causing severe pain. Total knee replacement involves removing that portion of bone which 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.
“The number of Indian women going in for knee replacement has risen significantly in the recent past. Most orthopaedic surgeons make adjustments in the traditional implants before fitting them into female patients. Generally knee implants have thickness in front which gives a bulky feeling to the patients. As compared to men, women often experience more pain post knee replacement, longer recovery time and reduced range of motion. Gender knee has more natural movement, allowing the implant to move more like the natural knee. It has a contoured shape proportioned to fit women's anatomies. This helps the implant from overhanging the bone and potentially pressing on or damaging surrounding ligaments and tendons,” says Dr Ashish Jain, consultant, Joint Replacement Specialist at Max Hospital.
The gender knee is different as it has a thinner profile and more contoured shape compared to that of traditional implant. Despite anatomical differences in men and women traditional implant use same components to prepare implants for both which cause mismatch and compromise the final outcome of the knee replacement. Gender knee implant is slowly getting popular in India as more and more Indian female patients undergoing knee replacements are demanding gender knee implant. It is costlier than traditional knee implant. It costs roughly Rs 10,000 more than high end of traditional implant. “There are no specific complications due to the design, complications if occur are same as with any other total knee replacement. The success rate of gender knee implant is excellent. Now post surgery unexplained anterior knee pains incidence is hardly seen as compared to traditional implants in females,” adds Dr Ashish.
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