Orthopedic surgeons at Rush University Medical Center will perform a Total Knee Replacement surgery which can be viewed online on Monday, October 16, at 5:00 p.m.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard A. Berger will perform the surgery which features the use of the knee replacement shaped to fit a woman's anatomy The webcast will be moderated by Dr. Aaron G. Rosenberg, also from Rush. Berger and Rosenberg were two of the 12 surgeons who sought to address shape-related differences of a woman's knee by developing the new prosthesis.
Questions from both surgeons and the general public can be sent in via email during the broadcast. The webcast is sponsored by The Zimmer Institute.
The procedure uses a Zimmer Minimally Invasive Solutions ™(MIS) sub-vastus approach and requires an incision of only 9 to 14 cm, compared with 20 to 30 cm used in a standard knee replacement arthroplasty. Among the goals of this minimally invasive technique are shorter hospital stays, lower blood loss, faster rehabilitation and a more cosmetically appealing surgical scar.
Knee replacements have long been available in many sizes, but merely using a different size for women doesn't resolve anatomical differences. Various studies show that women's knees significantly differ in shape from men's knees. Pioneering research conducted for Zimmer precisely maps out those differences and is the foundation for the design and development of the Gender Solutions Knee.
"Knee implants have been functioning very well for men and women, but we want to meet women's unique needs by making knee replacements that feel, fit and function even better," says Rosenberg. "The implant is the best of both worlds. It's based on the current implant we use, a highly successful implant with great mechanics and 10 years of clinical success. Only the shape of this new implant is different, to make it feel more natural."
When placing traditional implants, some surgeons accommodate women's differences by removing more bone or repositioning the implant during surgery, but their ability to make the implant precisely conform to the patient is limited. The Gender Solutions High-Flex Implant was designed so the surgeon can more closely match the female patient's knee anatomy.
"Mounting research indicates that a woman's knee is not simply a smaller version of a man's knee. The differences involve the bones, ligaments and tendons in the joints," says Rosenberg. "Women can wear men's clothing and shoes, but most prefer clothing and shoes made for them. It's the same with knees, and it makes perfect sense to design knee implants with women in mind, particularly considering that women are by far the majority of the knee replacement patient population."
Nearly two-thirds of the more than 400,000 annual knee replacement patients are women, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, and the numbers continue to increase each year. Research shows that while both women and men vastly underuse knee replacement, women are three times less likely than men to undergo the procedure, although they suffer from more knee pain and resulting disability.
The Gender Solutions High-Flex Knee, the first of several gender innovations to come from Zimmer, is based on the company's more than 20 years of clinical success with total knee implants. Further, it can be placed using Zimmer MIS Procedures, which typically offer smaller scars, shorter hospitalization and quicker rehabilitation and recovery; and safely accommodates high flexion (up to 155 degrees), which is necessary for many activities, such as climbing stairs, sitting in a chair, gardening and golfing.
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. Knees can become painful, due to arthritis, injury and infection, which cause deterioration of the cartilage. 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.