Gender Knee

The “Gender Knee” is a marketing term used by Zimmer Orthopedics to describe their latest knee system, theoretically designed for women. The implication is that a woman’s knee anatomy is different from men. The reality is that the bony anatomy of the knee varies significantly between individuals from both sexes and is not really gender specific. The orthopedic manufacturers have designed knee systems that come in multiple sizing options to try and address the major differences.

However, several companies including Zimmer noticed a difference in the width of their implants for given sizes and that some patients (especially women) had femoral anatomy that was narrower than their implants. It has been reported that this relative mismatch in the sizing caused overhang of the metal implant resulting in soft tissue irritation and pain in some patients with those knee implants.

Other companies have had no such problem with their total knee systems. I am well aware of the differences encountered and use knee systems with adequate sizing to allow me to perform total knee replacement on most any patient.