The Knee, ISSN: 0968-0160, Vol: 17, Issue: 2, Page: 148-151

Measuring patellar height using the lateral active flexion radiograph: Effect of total knee implant design

Brilhault, Jean; Ries, Michael D

Patellar position during knee flexion was studied in 41 patients with bicruciate substituting (BCS), 41 patients with posterior cruciate retaining (CR) and 41 patients with posterior stabilized (PS) TKA’s. The perpendicular height of the patella above the tibial tubercle was compared to the length of the patellar tendon on maximum flexion lateral radiographs. BCS knees had greater active flexion compared to PS and CR knees (BCS = 124 ± 9.8, PS = 112 ± 9.5, CR = 110 ± 10.9). In flexion, apparent patella infera (API) or the height of the patella above the tibial tubercle was 3.5% lower than the patellar tendon length for BCS knees, 1.7% lower in PS knees and 0.5% lower in CR knees. API in PS and BCS knees correlated with active knee flexion, but not in CR knees. Our findings indicate that an apparent inferior position of the patella occurs in BCS knees during deep flexion which is not caused by significant patellar ligament shortening or joint line elevation, but associated with normal posterior rollback of the femur.

Download article