Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®: November 2008 - Volume 466 - Issue 11 - p 2763-2768 doi: 10.1007/s11999-008-0347-8

Does Patellar Eversion in Total Knee Arthroplasty Cause Patella Baja?

Sharma, Vineet, MD1; Tsailas, Panagiotis G., MD1; Maheshwari, Aditya V., MD1; Ranawat, Amar S., MD1,a; Ranawat, Chitranjan S., MD1

Several proponents of minimally invasive surgery-total knee arthroplasty (MIS-TKA) have suggested patellar eversion during a standard exposure of the knee may cause shortening of the patellar tendon and poorer outcomes secondary to acquired patella baja. To explore this suggestion, we retrospectively reviewed 135 consecutive TKAs in 110 patients to ascertain the effect of TKA on the postoperative Insall-Salvati ratio. All surgeries were performed using standard TKA techniques with a midline incision, medial parapatellar arthrotomy, partial excision of the fat pad, and routine eversion of the patella. One patient developed a postoperative patella baja, defined as an Insall-Salvati ratio of less than 0.8. The Knee Society score for knee and function in this patient was 75 and 70, respectively. Five additional patients had a decrease in Insall-Salvati ratio by 10% or more but without patella baja. Mean Knee Society score for knee and function in these five patients was 94 (range, 73-99) and 96 (range, 90-100), respectively, as compared with 93 (range, 37-99) and 94 (range, 40-100) in the remaining 104 patients. Our data suggest the incidence of patella baja is low after TKA despite routine patellar eversion. Furthermore, a 10% or more decrease in the Insall-Salvati ratio without patella baja was not associated with a worse clinical outcome.


Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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