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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1985 Dec;67(9):1321-7.

Patellar dislocation following total knee replacement.


The reported incidence of patellar problems after total knee replacement has ranged from 5 to 30 per cent. Patellar dislocation is infrequent but can cause disabling symptoms. Between January 1974 and May 1982, eleven patients (twelve knees) with symptomatic lateral dislocation of the patella after total knee replacement were treated at The Hospital for Special Surgery by realignment of the extensor mechanism. All of the patients were women. Their average age was sixty-two years and average weight, eighty-seven kilograms. The diagnosis was osteoarthritis in seven knees and rheumatoid arthritis in five. Most of the patients had had preoperative valgus deformity (average, 18 degrees). The cause of dislocation was trauma in three knees, incorrect tracking of the patella after replacement in six, and malrotation of the tibial component in three. Four different prosthetic designs had been used. The design of the implant did not appear to be a factor causing dislocation in this group. The patellar dislocation was treated by proximal realignment of the quadriceps in ten knees, lateral retinacular release alone in one, and revision of the tibial and femoral components combined with proximal realignment in one. After an average follow-up of thirty-four months (range, twenty-four to fifty-seven months), the results according to The Hospital for Special Surgery knee-rating scale were excellent in ten knees and good in two, and there had been no redislocations.

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