In the U.S, more than 400,000 people get their knees replaced each year, and nearly two-thirds are women. If you’re still experiencing knee pain even after you’ve made lifestyle changes and taken medications, knee replacement surgery may be your best option.
Knee replacement surgery is a routine procedure performed on over 600,000 people worldwide each year. Over 90% of people who have had surgery experience an improvement in knee pain and function. And today’s surgical techniques offer smaller incisions with less involvement of key tendons and muscles.
Joint replacement surgery can help relieve your pain and get you back to living an active life. However, not all knee replacements are alike—especially for women. Gender specific knee replacements, are knee implants made specifically for a woman—for a better fit, higher flexion, and more natural movement.
The decision to have knee replacement surgery is not an easy one to make, nor should it be made quickly—or alone. It’s important to learn all you can about the anatomy of your knee and the arthritis or injury. Women and men have distinct shape differences that affect the movement of the kneecap over the thighbone. Not only are women’s knees narrower from side to side, and less prominent than a man’s, they are also more trapezoid-shaped.
Great progress has been made in joint replacement surgery. Today, incisions for knee replacements can be smaller, possibly resulting in less scarring, less pain, shorter hospital stays and, in some patients, a reduced recovery period. Female patients find it easier to move and flex properly with implants designed specifically for their anatomy.
It may be time to consult with an orthopedic surgeon, if you have severe pain or significant disability resulting from one or more of the following conditions:
• Deterioration of the knee joint cartilage (osteoarthritis).
• Inflammation in the lining of the knee joint (rheumatoid arthritis).
• Physical injury to the knee joint resulting in arthritis (traumatic arthritis).
• Certain breaks in the knee joint bones (fractures).
Joint replacement surgery is recommended for many people with pain that limits their ability to function or restricts their comfort level when it comes to doing those things most important to them on a routine basis. New gender specific implants are making it possible for women to return to a higher level of pain-free mobility more quickly than with traditional knee implants.
This information is provided by Fred M. Carter MD, a board certified orthopedist on the Medical Staff at Eastern Long Island Hospital. His practice, North Fork Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, is located in Mattituck.