Femoral Trochlea Does Not Remodel After Patellar Stabilization in Children Older Than 10 Years of Age

J Pediatr Orthop B. 2019 Mar;28(2):139-143. doi: 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000551.


Trochlear dysplasia is a major risk factor for patellar instability. It has been sparsely reported that the trochlea can remodel when patellar stabilization is performed in skeletally immature patients before the age of 10 years. It is not known whether trochlea can remodel significantly after the age of 10 years. The purpose of the study was to evaluate trochlear remodeling in skeletally immature patients after patellar stabilization surgery, with a focus on children older than 10 years of age. In a retrospective study, knee MRI of 21 patients who had undergone patellar stabilization surgery, were evaluated. Twenty of these 21 patients were older than 10 years of age at time of surgery. The measurements of cartilaginous and bony sulcus angles, trochlear depth, and cartilaginous trochlear bump were compared between preoperative and postoperative MRI, using paired t-tests. In 20 patients older than 10 years of age, the mean cartilaginous sulcus angle change between preoperative and postoperative axial MRI was not significant (2.2°±7.9°, P=0.6). The mean change in the bony sulcus angle value was not significant (3.6°±6.8°, P=0.07). Similarly, there was no significant change in trochlear depth (P=0.8), or size of the trochlear bump (P=0.1). For one patient under 10 years of age at the time of surgery, there was a 21° and a 15° improvement in cartilaginous and bony sulcus angle, respectively. There were no significant changes in the trochlear parameters and trochlear remodeling in patients older than 10 years of age. Patellar stabilization at a younger age (<10 years), may allow for trochlear remodeling. Level of Evidence: Level IV, case series.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / surgery
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnostic imaging*
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Patella / diagnostic imaging
  • Patella / surgery
  • Patellofemoral Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Patellofemoral Joint / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies