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Media Contact: Kenneth Robinson krobinson@aahks.org
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Awarded Study Looks at the Safety of Resurfacing the Thin Native Patella

For Immediate Release
November 11, 2022

Dallas, TX – A study presented at the 2022 AAHKS Annual Meeting ask the often-debated question of whether to resurface the patella during total knee arthroplasty (TKA). One regularly cited reason for not resurfacing is inadequate patellar thickness.

Lead author Jacob M. Wilson, MD and co-authors Mikaela H. Sullivan, MD, Mark W. Pagnano, MD and senior author Robert T. Trousdale, MD conducted the study to describe the implant survivorships, reoperations, complications and clinical outcomes in patients who underwent patellar resurfacing of a thin native patella.

This study received the AAHKS Surgical Techniques and Technologies Award during the 2022 Annual Meeting. This award recognizes outstanding advancement in surgical innovation within reconstructive surgery.

“We were honored to receive the AAHKS Surgical Techniques and Technologies Award for our paper on resurfacing the thin native patella. Patients with a thin patella often have significant patellofemoral arthritis and prior data from our institution found higher revision rates in similar patients who were left un-resurfaced. For this reason, we sought to determine whether resurfacing was safe in this patient population. Our results suggest that this is a safe practice, and we hope these data will be useful to surgeons when encountering this clinical situation,” said Jacob M. Wilson, MD.

Researchers identified 11,333 patients undergoing primary TKA with patellar resurfacing from 2000 to 2010. Researchers noticed that after 10 years, those survivorships free of any patella revision, patella-related reoperation, periprosthetic patella fracture and patella-related complication were 98%, 98%, 99% and 97%, respectively.

There were three patella revisions: one for patellar component aseptic loosening and two for prosthetic joint infection (PJI). There were two additional patella-related reoperations, both arthroscopic synovectomies for patellar clunk. Two patients underwent manipulation under anesthesia (MUA). There were three periprosthetic patella fractures managed nonoperatively, all with well-fixed components and intact extensor mechanisms. Radiographically, the patella appeared well fixed in all non-revised knees. Knee society scores improved from mean 36 preoperatively to mean 81 at 10-years postoperatively.

The researchers concluded that resurfacing the thin native patella was associated with high survivorship free of patellar revision at the 10-year follow-up.

Abstract: https://www.aahks.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHKS_2022_SurgicalTTAward-1.pdf

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About the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons

Established in 1991, the mission of AAHKS is to advance hip and knee patient care through education, advocacy, research and outreach. AAHKS has a membership of over 4,600 surgeons and other hip and knee health care professionals.


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