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21.08.2018 | Knee

Patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty using a contemporary patella-friendly implant are unaware of any differences due to patellar resurfacing

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
In Jun Koh, Man Soo Kim, Sueen Sohn, Kwang Yun Song, Nam Yong Choi, Yong In



Anterior knee pain after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is often unexplained, spurring ongoing debates on the need for patellar resurfacing. It was hypothesized that a contemporary patella-friendly implant would restore patellofemoral kinematics more physiologically than outdated implants and that there would be no perceived or clinically demonstrable differences due to resurfacing of patella (RP).


This prospective bilateral randomized study was undertaken in 49 patients scheduled for the same-day bilateral TKAs. One knee was subjected at random to RP while withholding RP on the opposing side (non-RP). A recently approved single-radius femoral prosthesis featuring a deep, elongate trochlear groove with lateral tilt and a high lateral flange was implanted bilaterally in all patients. Mean follow-up duration was 5 years. Group comparisons were based on patient-reported outcomes [anterior knee pain, Forgotten Joint Score (FJS), and side preference], physician-rated results [Feller patellofemoral (PF) score], radiographic patellar position, patella-related complications, and need for reoperation.


There were no differences in midterm rates of anterior knee pain (RP 8%; non-RP 4%; n.s.), FJS (all n.s.), or side preference (RP 47%; non-RP 45%; n.s.), nor did the groups differ by Feller PF score (all n.s.) or radiographic patellar position (all n.s.). No secondary resurfacings of non-RP or RP revisions were required.


Patients were incapable of distinguishing whether RP was done, casting doubt on its benefits. Surgeons may thus forego RP during TKA when using contemporary patella-friendly TKA implants.

Level of evidence

Therapeutic study, Level I.

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