Press Releases

WCA Hospital Sugeons Implant New Gender Knee

Left to Right: Orthopedic surgeons Randall Swanson, M.D. and Peter Robinson, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeons on staff at WCA Hospital, perform gender knee replacement. The knee implant is specifically designed to fit a woman’s anatomy while more closely mimicking the joints and inner workings of the knees of females. Also in photo: Jodie Strom, (far right) WCA Hospital OR Technician.

Jamestown, New York, July 18, 2007—WCA Hospital became the first in the southern tier area to implant a gender knee replacement designed especially for women. Orthopedic surgeons on staff at WCA, performed the new, gender-specific knee replacement surgery with a prosthetic knee specifically designed to fit a woman's anatomy. The new implant alleviates joint pain and restores mobility, while offering fit, comfort and function optimized for female characteristics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400,000 knee replacements are performed in the United States each year. Two-thirds of knee replacement patients are women.

"We are proud to again take the lead in providing the latest in surgical alternatives for our patients and their families," said Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital President/CEO. "Our new surgical advancements reflect the on-going commitment of our highly skilled surgeons and staff to provide the highest level of patient care while setting the standard in surgical excellence."

Recent research indicates that a woman's knee is not simply a smaller version of a man's. There are differences in the bones, ligaments and joints and the new gender knee replacement attempts to account for these variances.

"Even though most women are happy with the results after traditional joint replacement surgery, we wanted to meet the unique needs of women by implanting a knee that feels, fits, and functions even better," said Peter Robinson, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has performed a number of surgeries with the new gender-specific implant. "Women have slightly different angles at their knees than men. Their hips are wider than a man's hip and, therefore, the angle from the hip to the knee is greater. The new implant is an evolutionary development whereby these subtle angle differences have been incorporated into the femoral component of the knee replacement to better fit a woman's anatomy. The new implant allows for better flexion, better strength, and very successful outcomes after surgery."

The Gender Solutions High-Flex Knee was 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 computed tomography (CT) imaging. The implant's goals include alleviating knee pain and restoring mobility, while offering fit and function that is optimized for the characteristics more commonly seen in female patients.

A person's knees are the two largest joints in the body. When knees are healthy, simple activities like walking, turning, and bending are easy and effortless. When they're not, those simple movements become extremely painful. The new implant allows women to continue to lead active lives.

Barbara J. Rexroad is one of the first patients in the area to receive the new gender knee implant. "I had consistent pain and leg cramps before the surgery," said Barbara. "I am happy to say that two months after my surgery, I am feeling great and able to walk, shop and do all the normal activities that I wasn't able to perform before the surgery."

"By the time a patient comes in for this type of surgery, they have often suffered with severe knee pain for some time," explains Dr. Robinson. "This new surgery allows us to relieve that pain while restoring function and mobility and providing a better fit for females. Clearly, this is a breakthrough for women in need of knee replacement surgery, and the outcomes speak for themselves."

Dr. Robinson adds, "Living with knee pain is a thing of the past. Advancements like the gender knee and minimally invasive surgical procedures offer women a notably improved quality of life."

WCA is a regional health system serving more than 160,000 people throughout southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. WCA is a leader in Cancer Care, Heart Care, Rehabilitation, Behavioral Health, Women's Services and diagnostic testing services. To learn more about surgical advancements at WCA Hospital, contact the Public Relations Office at (716) 664-8614.

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