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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


Patellar maltracking after total knee arthroplasy (TKA) introduces complications such as anterior knee pain and patellar subluxation, generally due to prosthetic component malallignment in both tibiofemoral (TF) and patellofemoral joints. It is still debated if it is necessary to resurface the patella, which would better adapt the patellar articular surface to the prosthetic femoral troclea with a prosthesis, but also result in possible bone fractures. In this study, an in-vitro analysis is presented in order to identify differences between intact and TKA patellar tracking with and without patellar resurfacing and to show how much the latter is similar to intact knee patellar tracking.

Three fresh-frozen amputated legs with knees free from anatomical defects and with intact joint capsule, collaterals and quadriceps tendon were analyzed using the Stryker knee navigation system (Kalamazoo, MI-USA). Landmark digitations were used to define anatomical frames for femur, tibia and patella. Manually driven TF flexions, from 0 to 140, were performed under conditions of no load and of 10 kg on the quadriceps, with intact knee and TKA with patella resurfaced and not. TF flex/extension, intra/extra rotation, ad/abduction were calculated according to a standard convention. Patellar flex/extension, medial/lateral tilt, rotation and shift were calculated according to a recently proposed articular convention.

Since more repeatable, results relative to trials under 10 kg are reported. Intact knee: 4 abduction; considerable intra rotation (from 16 to 4), followed by continuous extra rotation starting at 30 TF flexion; linear increase in patellar flexion (from 20 to 110); initial medial patellar rotation (from 12 to 8), followed by medial rotation starting at 60 TF flexion; initial lateral patellar tilt (from 4 lateral to 4 medial), followed by medial tilt starting at 70 TF flexion; initial 6 mm lateral patellar shifts from 0 to 80 TF flexion, followed by 4 mm medial shift. TKA knee: small differences in ad/abduction between intact and TKA knees, both with and without resurfaced patella; slight initial extra rotation, followed by continuous intra rotation starting at 20 TF flexion; linear increase in the flexion of the patella, both resurfaced and not, close to the that of the intact knee; patellar rotation more lateral than in the intact knee; patellar tilt without resurfaced patella closer to the intact knee one; 6 mm lateral patellar shift, likely accounted for the surgical technique.

Slightly more than TKA with resurfaced patella, TKA with non resurfaced patella flexes nearly like the intact knee. The closeness in values of patellar flexion and tilt represents a proof of the closeness in behavior of not resurfaced patella in TKA to the patella in the intact knee.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.