The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 36, Issue 2, 670 - 675

Patellar Rebar Augmentation in Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty

McPherson, Edward J. et al.


In revision total knee arthroplasty, osteolysis, mechanical abrasion, and infection may leave patellar bone stock severely attenuated with cavitary and/or segmental rim deficiencies that compromise fixation of patellar implant pegs. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review the use of cortical “rebar” screws to augment cement fixation in revision patelloplasty.


From 2006 to 2018, dorsal patellar rebar technique was used for patellar reconstruction in 128 of 1037 revision total knee arthroplasty cases (12.3%). Follow-up was achieved with serial radiographs and prospective comparison of Knee Society Scores (KSSs) for clinical outcome. Complications and implant failures requiring reoperation or modified rehabilitation were also assessed.


Of the 128 patellar revisions performed using the rebar technique, 69 patients were women and 59 patients were men. The average age of the group was 69.5 years (range, 32-83 years). The mean follow-up of the cohort was 37 months (range, 13-109 months). The most common causes for revision were kinematic conflict, periprosthetic joint infection, and aseptic loosening. The median number of rebar screws used was 5 (range, 1-13). Preoperative KSSs for the study cohort averaged 50 (range, 0-90) At latest follow-up, mean KSS was 85 (range, 54-100). There were 4 patellar-related complications (3.1%) with no implant failures at study conclusion. Retrieval analysis revealed rigid fixation of the reconstructed patellar component in all cases.


Patellar rebar screw augmentation is a useful technique when there are significant cavitary deficiencies and limited segmental rim deficiencies. This technique allows the surgeon to extend indications for patellar revision arthroplasty.

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