Center for Joint Surgery offers first knee replacement shaped to fit a
Research shows women and men are different from their brain cells to their
bones, joints included, which is why women with painful knees now have
a total knee replacement specifically shaped to fit them.
Eric Bontempo, D.O., an orthopedic surgeon at Atlantic General Hospital’s
Center for Joint Surgery, is among the first surgeons on the Eastern Shore
to offer the Zimmer® Gender Solutions™ Knee, the first and only
knee replacement shaped to fit a woman’s anatomy. He has used the
Gender Solutions™ Knee in two patients needing total knee replacements
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. Yet 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 National Institutes of Health
(NIH) reports knee replacement can substantially improve pain, function
and quality of life.
“The new Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee, the only knee shaped and
sized to optimally fit the female knee, should make women more amenable
to having a knee replacement,” Dr. Bontempo said. All other implants
being used for total knee replacement are based upon an average between
women’s and men’s knees.
The Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee is designed based on three distinct and
scientifically documented shape differences between women’s and
men’s knees, and a sophisticated and highly detailed map of the
joint created using three-dimensional imaging.
The goals of the Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee include alleviating knee
pain and restoring mobility, while offering fit and function that is optimized
for the characteristics more commonly seen in female patients. Further, it:
• can be implanted using less-invasive techniques , which typically
offer smaller scars, shorter hospitalization and quicker recovery; and
• safely accommodates high flexion, which is necessary for many activities
involving deep bending.
Dr. Bontempo implants the Zimmer Gender Knee using the Zimmer MIS Mini-Incision
Total Knee Procedure which can be performed through an incision as small
as 4 inches, compared to 8 to 12 inches for traditional total knee replacement.
Patient benefits include less pain, less tissue disruption, and the ability
to perform more exercises on day one following surgery.
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.
The Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee is based on a scientific database called
a knee bone atlas, which was created for Zimmer. The continually growing
knee bone atlas is based on more than 800 knees and kneecaps, and uses
three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) imaging data to generate highly
detailed virtual blueprints for the knee as it looks after surgeons have
removed the bone and are ready to place the implant. The results of that
atlas have confirmed that: the shape of women’s knees typically
fall into different ranges than men’s; and, these differences are
Incorporating the new data and existing research about gender differences,
the Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee was created to address the following
three shape-related anatomical differences of a woman’s knee:
1. Thinner Profile – The bone in the front of a woman’s knee
is typically less prominent than in a man’s. Traditional implants
have a thickness in front that may end up feeling “bulky”,
which may result in pain and a decrease in range of motion. The Zimmer
Gender Solutions Knee has a thinner profile to accommodate this anatomical
difference between women and men.
2. More Natural Movement – The angle between the hip and the knee
affects how the kneecap moves over the thighbone when the knee is in motion.
Women have a distinct shape which frequently results in a different angle
between the hip and the knee when compared to men. The Zimmer Gender Solutions
Knee accounts for this difference, allowing for more natural movement.
3. Contoured Shape – The Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee has a contoured
shape to more closely match the narrower anatomy of a woman’s knee.
This contouring provides for a more precise fit and may prevent the implant
from overhanging the bone and potentially pressing on or damaging surrounding
ligaments and tendons.
For more information about the Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee, call Dr.
Bontempo at Atlantic Orthopaedics at 410-641-1900. To request a free brochure,