The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 29, Issue 3, 525 - 529

The Effect of Medial Release of the Distal Patellar Tendon Insertion on Lateral Patella Translation and Residual Insertion Strength: A Cadaveric Study

Dervin, Geoffrey F. et al.

Patellar tendon avulsion is a risk with difficult exposure in a stiff knee, patella baja or previous tibial osteotomy. We sought to define a safe amount of release of the patellar tendon insertion for such cases. Eleven pairs of fresh frozen cadaveric lower limb specimens were acquired and randomized to either intact or partial release of the distal tibial insertion. Partial release of the tibial insertion of the tendon increased lateral exposure a mean 29% ± 15% (P = 0.002) while reducing ultimate strength to a mean of 80% that of the intact contralateral tendon. Measured patella release increased lateral patella translation and can be performed without risk of catastrophic rupture with basic activities of daily living following TKA.

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