News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

A knee of their own: Orthopedic surgeon at Tyrone Hospital offers first knee replacement shaped to fit a woman’s anatomy

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. ‑
Christopher McClellan, D.O. orthopedic surgeon from University Orthopedics Center and member of the Tyrone Hospital medical staff, now offers the Zimmer® Gender Solutions™ Knee at Tyrone Hospital. The Zimmer® Gender Solutions™ Knee is the first and only knee replacement shaped to fit a woman’s anatomy.
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,” said Dr. McClellan.‑
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 Gender Solutions Knee is based on Zimmer’s NexGen® Knee, which has an excellent 10-year track record, so it offers the best of all worlds – a highly successful implant with high flexion capabilities that is now designed to fit and feel more like a woman’s natural knee,” said Dr. McClellan.‑
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.
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.
“Orthopedics has made significant progress in the last decade with improvements on all fronts, from pain management to less-invasive surgery that gets people back to their lives sooner,” said Cheryl Blanchard, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer for Zimmer. “A knee that better meets the needs of two-thirds of the knee replacement population is a logical next step.”
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 statistically significant.
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. McClellan at University Orthopedics Center at (814) 949–4050 or to request a free brochure, visit
An informational display and literature is also available in the main lobby at Tyrone Hospital.
‑Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, Zimmer is the worldwide No. 1 pure-play orthopaedic leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing reconstructive and spinal implants, trauma and related orthopaedic surgical products. Zimmer has operations in more than 24 countries around the world and sells products in more than 100 countries. Zimmer\’s 2005 sales were approximately $3.3 billion. The Company is supported by the efforts of more than 6,700 employees worldwide. Visit Zimmer on the worldwide web at