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Selective Patella Resurfacing in Contemporary Cruciate Retaining and Substituting Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Matched Cohort Analysis

Published:October 14, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.10.012

      Abstract

      Background

      Leaving the patella unresurfaced in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is increasing due to modern patella-friendly implants, awareness that complications are not uncommon with resurfacing, and knowledge that historical studies were scientifically confounded. This study examined the effect of selective patellar resurfacing on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) using modern implants and techniques in cohorts rigorously matched for demographics and osteoarthritis severity.

      Methods

      A total of 166 TKAs performed without patellar resurfacing were case-control matched to 166 TKAs with patella resurfacing. Case-control matching was based on demographics, American Society of Anesthesiology Physical Status, comorbidities, and osteoarthritis severity. No significant differences were observed between cohorts for demographics (P ≥ .347), comorbidities (P ≥ .443), or radiographic osteoarthritis severity (P ≥ .078). Radiographic alignment and prospectively collected PROMs were evaluated preoperatively and at latest clinical follow-up.

      Results

      Preoperatively, patellar tilt was less for the unresurfaced patella group (3 versus 4°, P = .003); however, postoperative patellar tilt was not different (3 versus 3°, P = .225). At a mean of 2.1 years follow-up (range, 1 to 7), University of California Los Angeles Activity Level was significantly higher for the unresurfaced patella group (6.3 versus 5.5, P = .002), but the mean group difference did not reach a minimal clinically important difference. There were no other significant differences in PROMs or reoperation rates between cohorts (P ≥ .135).

      Conclusion

      In contemporary cruciate retaining and substituting TKA designs, not resurfacing the patella in select patients may achieve comparable PROMs and re-operation rates; and potentially greater activity level compared to patella resurfacing at early follow-up.

      Level of Evidence

      III.

      Keywords

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