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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015



Patella resurfacing in TKA remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to compare the long-term clinical outcome in TKA in patients undergoing bilateral TKAs with one patella resurfaced and the other patella nonresurfaced.


Twenty-nine patients (58 knees) underwent primary bilateral TKA for osteoarthritis. These patients were enrolled in a prospective randomised double blinded study and represent a subset of a larger study of patella resurfacing. All patients received the same posterior cruciate sparing TKA. Patients each had one knee randomised to treatment with or without patella resurfacing. The contralateral knee then received the alternative patellar treatment, such that all patients had one knee with a resurfaced patella and the other nonresurfaced. Clinical evaluations consisted of routine radiographic and clinical follow-up and included with a Knee Society Score patellofemoral specific patient questionnaire. Twenty-eight patients (56 knees) participated and were followed for a mean of 118 months (range, 69–146 months).


There were no significant differences between the knees treated with and without patellar resurfacing with regard to range of motion, KSCRS, or the pain and function scores. Forty-six percent (13/28 patients) of patients preferred the resurfaced knee, 36% (10/28) the nonresurfaced knee, and 18% (5/28) had no preference. Two patients (7%) in the nonresurfaced group required revision for a patellofemoral related complication, compared to one patient (3.5%) in the group with a resurfaced patella.


Ten year follow-up reveals equivalent results for resurfaced and nonresurfaced patellae in TKA with regards to ROM, KSCRS, pain and function, or patellofemoral symptoms. In this large series of bilateral TKAs, 64% of patients either preferred the unresurfaced knee or had no preference.