Role of Anatomical Patella Replacement on Anterior Knee Pain

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Anterior knee pain (AKP) remains a complex issue affecting patient satisfaction after total knee arthroplasty. Several radiographic parameters have been shown to be causative factors with various designs. The aim of this study is to evaluate the known radiographic parameters of AKP and clinical outcomes (ie, AKP) in the setting of a modern prosthesis with an anatomic patella button.


Between July 2012 and December 2013, 90 total knee arthroplasties received 3 skyline views taken at 30°, 45°, and 60°. A patient-administered questionnaire was administered at 2-year follow-up to assess the incidence of AKP, painless noise, and satisfaction. Radiographs were analyzed for patellofemoral overstuffing, patellar tilt, and patellar displacement, and evaluated the patella resection angle.


On the patient-administered questionnaire, 10 (11.1%) patients reported AKP of a mild-to-moderate nature. Thirty-one had the best view at 30 Merchant views, 24 had best views at 45, and 35 had best views at 60. We found that patellar resection angle correlated with AKP (odds ratio 1.21, P = .044) and painless noise (odds ratio 1.22, P = .034). Patellar displacement and patellofemoral stuffing did not correlate with AKP or painless noise. No radiographic measurements correlated with changes in Knee Society Score pain or function scores or range of motion.


We found that a patellar resection angle correlated with the incidence of AKP and painless noise at 2-year follow-up. We failed to find any correlation with patellofemoral overstuffing, patellar displacement, or patellar tilt with clinical outcomes. We recommend the use of 3 Merchant views to fully evaluate the patellofemoral joint.


This article was published in The Journal of Arthroplasty.

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Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc.

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Journal of Arthroplasty

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