Take Kristine Rossof. She walks about two miles a day at her job as a nurse administrator. But it wasn't always this easy...
"I was limping a lot," she says. For eight years -- a painful knee slowed Rossof down until she opted for knee replacement surgery. "Immediately I could get out of bed and take a step and walk," she says. "So that was significant and HUGE!"
Surgeons perform more than 400,000 knee replacements every year. Nearly two-thirds of patients are women, yet the implants used in the surgery weren't always the best fit for a woman.
Rossof received a new implant called The Zimmer Gender Solutions High-Flex Knee. The FDA recently approved it, and it's made specifically for women. Unlike older implants -- designed more with a man's anatomy in mind -- these implants are narrow and thin. They also allow for a woman's wider pelvis.
Orthopedic surgeon Aaron Rosenberg, M.D., of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, says, "It's just a step that allows us to fit the woman patient better. It's like wearing a pair of pants that fit you well as opposed to one that you sort of have to adjust yourself to because they don't really fit in the right places."
Dr. Rosenberg is one of 13 doctors who developed the implant. They put it in place through a small incision during a simple surgical procedure. He says a better fit means greater flexibility, less pain, and a quicker recovery. Surgeons can use the implant on patients with most types of arthritis of the knee. There are about 11 hospitals in the United States performing the procedure with this implant.
Four weeks after surgery, Rossof was ready to reclaim her active lifestyle. She says, "I'm looking forward to getting back to travel and back to some of the things I like doing."
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.
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