Patellar Resurfacing Reduces, Does Not Eliminate Knee Pain After Arthroplasty

Total knee arthroplasty patients who undergo patellar resurfacing have less anterior pain and improved stair descent compared with patients who do not undergo resurfacing.

The resurfacing, however, does not eliminate anterior knee pain. Ten percent of the patients who underwent the procedure also underwent revision or reoperation involving the patellofemoral joint, report investigators from the University of Western Australia in Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia.

"The management of the patella in total knee arthroplasty is still problematic," according to the investigators. They conducted a prospective, randomized study of 220 osteoarthritic knees in 201 patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty with and without patellar resurfacing. Mean follow-up was 48 months.

Results showed that 15 out of 128 knees (12 percent) without patellar resurfacing and nine out of 92 knees (10 percent) with patellar resurfacing underwent some type of revision or reoperation involving patellofemoral articulation. The difference was not statistically significant.

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