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For Women Only: Gender-Specific Knee Implants

Medical Innovation Codeveloped by Central DuPage Hospital Surgeon Benefits Female Patients.

WINFIELD, Ill., Sept. 10, 2007Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), recently recognized by U. S.News & World Report America's Best Hospitals 2007 for its orthopaedic services, offers knee replacements specifically designed for women. This is the first and only knee replacement designed specifically for the female anatomy and has female patients up and walking, driving, and biking just weeks after their surgery.

Central DuPage Hospital is the clinical home to orthopaedic surgeon Wayne Paprosky, MD, of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, who is a researcher and developer of the Zimmer Gender Knee implant. A nationally recognized specialist in knee surgery, Dr. Paprosky has now successfully performed more than 50 gender-specific implant surgeries since his innovation received FDA approval last year.

"The gender knee implant represents a real breakthrough for female orthopaedic patients," Paprosky said. "Prior to this, female patients were treated like 'mini-men.' Although women suffer a higher incidence of knee pain, they are three times less likely to undergo joint replacement surgery because until now, we did not have an implant that met the unique requirements of the female knee joint."

The Zimmer Gender Knee implant is designed to complement the unique shape and size of a woman's knee. As a result, Paprosky's patients have better and more natural movement post surgery. And, because it is implanted with minimally invasive techniques, there are smaller scars, shorter hospital stays, and accelerated recovery.

The implant gave Katherine Williams, 49, of Wheaton a new lease on life. "For three years, I was in constant pain due to arthritis destroying the cartilage in my knees. By the third year, I couldn't walk more than one hour a day and knew I had to take action."

Paprosky recommended the gender knee implant, and just two weeks after the surgery on her second knee, Williams was already driving herself. She is now able to do, she says, "everything! I can walk, garden, climb stairs, and take eight-mile bike rides. Best of all, I'm free of pain for the first time in three years, without the need for even an aspirin."

Although Williams was younger than most knee replacement patients (who are generally advised to wait until age 55 so the implant won't need to be replaced), she doesn't regret her decision at all. "It gave me my life back," she said. In addition, because of advanced technology used to create the implant, only some parts may need to be replaced when it wears out in 15 to 20 years-unlike other artificial joint replacements, says Paprosky.

Aurora resident Dorothy Paredones, 67, had an even speedier recovery. "Within two days of the surgery, I was able to pull my leg back against my chin," she marvels. Her postoperative visit to Paprosky two weeks after her surgery was equally impressive. "I walked into his office without any assistance at all-no cane, crutches or walker. That was amazing!"

She too, has returned to her normal activities because of the implant. Arthritis had eroded her knee to the point where she was unable to walk. After the implant and one week of rehab, Paredones was back to cutting her grass, walking on the treadmill, even chasing after her four-year-old grandson.

About Gender Knee Implants

Central DuPage Hospital was among the first in the Chicago area to start performing surgery with the Zimmer Gender Knee implant. Nearly two-thirds of more than 400,000 annual knee replacement patients are women, a number which increases each year.

The Zimmer Gender Knee implant is based on pioneering research using three-dimensional CT data that showed:

  • Different angle between the hip and knee in women and men which affects how the kneecap moves over the thighbone when the knee is in motion. Gender Knee accounts for the difference, allowing more natural movement.
  • Less prominent bone in front of a woman's knee which make traditional implants feel bulky, painful, and result in a decreased range of motion. Gender Knee's thinner profile is more comfortable for women.
  • Narrower anatomy of a woman's knee. The contoured shape of Gender Knee prevents the implant from overhanging the bone and potentially pressing on or damaging surrounding ligaments and tendons.

About Central DuPage Hospital

Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 361-bed facility located in Winfield, Illinois, a suburb west of Chicago. It is the third most active hospital in Illinois performing total joint replacements. CDH is a leading center for surgical innovations and was one of the first institutions in the nation to offer minimally invasive heart surgery, robotic-assisted surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery with bio-engineered bone protein, and was the first Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in DuPage County.

Recently, CDH was recognized by USNews and World Report on the list of Best Hospitals in the orthopaedics category.

The hospital is part of an interdependent network of health care organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services and a full range of options for senior living, home health and hospice care. For more information or to find a doctor, visit www.cdh.org or call 630.933.4CDH.

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