Total Knee Replacement
You see a lot of information on the internet about gender specific knee transplants. That is to say, artificial knees designed for women. This is a relatively new innovation. The question to ask is, “What’s the difference, and is it right for me?”
These “women specific” knee implants are slightly narrower in front, conforming more anatomically to women’s narrower knee cap. It has a “different angle” then men’s knee implants and this is supposed to help knee cap tracking, and it comes in a broader range of small sizes.
On the face of it, these sound like mostly aesthetic differences. I have no problem with aesthetic differences, but I have read that implant companies are charging a lot more for these implants, for what adds up to little functional improvement.
I’m no doctor, and can’t pretend to have the last word on any of this. You should mention gender specific designs in your initial consultation with your orthoepedic surgeon. You should understand that doctors may have relationships with particular companies. You may have read my earlier post about surgeons receiving “consultation” fees if they signed exclusive agreements with an individual supplier. So don’t be afraid to ask hard questions.
If you think a female knee implant is something you would like to explore, just be aware that there have been no long term studies completed as yet. There is currently no evidence that female knee implants yield better outcomes. That is, there is no evidence you will see improved knee function, improved range of motion, or reduced pain levels. Everyone that has a knee replacement already has careful measurements taken and are fitted with a personalized implant.
Having said that, I encourage you to surf the web to see all the offerings from the different knee implant manufacturers. I won’t list them here, since they can change. Go to Google and try a search on “knee implant”. Or take a look at some of the Google Ads on the side of this website. And go more than one page deep.
Remember that many of the news articles you find may be nothing more than a slight rewording of a companies press release. Don’t expect negative comments or reviews. If you see some, it might well be the result of some company’s biased study. You are going to have to be a bit of a detective here. It may be worth the effort. Afterall, it's your knees we are talking about here. They are worth a little extra effort.