It is becoming clear that gender bias and gender-based data gaps are everywhere, even in orthopaedics. But, isn’t an arthritic knee an arthritic knee? Perhaps not. Gender bias is evident in how surgical procedures are offered and large data gaps exist in assessing clinical outcomes after surgery. This discussion will review how gender bias manifests for our orthopaedic surgery patients with regards to diagnosis, treatment and how we assess clinical outcomes. For us to better understand these factors, more women need to be enrolled in clinical trials. Also, in order to provide optimal care for our patients, gender-specific analysis of outcome data with consideration of confounding variables, will be of paramount importance


  • There are differences in how and when men and women are offered orthopaedic surgical procedures
  • There are gender differences in how clinicians perceive disability and pain in patients
  • Women are not represented equally in orthopaedic clinical trials
  • Research data is often not presented with gender specific contexts
  • There are confounding variables with regard to gender that may bias clinical results

Laurie A Hiemstra, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Orthopaedic Surgeon/Director of Research at Banff Sport Medicine Foundation
Associate Professor at University of Calgary