Should the patella be resurfaced in total knee arthroplasty? Efficacy of patellar resurfacing

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988 Nov;(236):128-34.


To assess the long-term efficacy of patellar resurfacing, 100 knees were evaluated in 84 patients. The operations were performed between 1978 and 1982. The follow-up period ranged from 60 to 103 months. The diagnosis was degenerative joint disease (DJD) in 83%, rheumatoid arthritis in 12%, and miscellaneous in 5% of the knees. The implant (47 knees) and nonimplant (53 knees) groups were comparable with respect to age, body size, and length of follow-up period. The analysis revealed equivocal results. Considering all diagnostic categories combined, rest pain was marginally better in the resurfaced group (p = 0.04), but this difference resulted from an unequal distribution of subjects between mild and zero pain categories. Pain with walking, maximum walking distance, ability to climb stairs and rise from a chair, active arc of motion, extensor lag, and quadriceps strength were similar in the two groups. When the DJD group was considered separately, no significant difference emerged. There was little evidence to support a recommendation for routine patellar resurfacing in total knee arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / surgery
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery*
  • Patella / surgery*
  • Prosthesis Design