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Patella Alta and the Adolescent Growth Spurt

MICHELI, LYLE, J.; SLATER, JONATHON, A.; WOODS, ERIC; GERBINO, PETER, G.

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: December 1986 - Volume 213 - Issue - p 159–162
SECTION II: GENERAL ORTHOPAEDICS: PDF Only
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The presence of patella alta has been linked to recurrent dislocation of the patella and the patellofemoral stress syndrome. It is not known whether patella alta is an inherited or acquired trait. To investigate the relationship of patella during the adolescent growth spurt, serial orthoroentgenograms (growth study films) were retrospectively analyzed in 19 patients. Two were found in whom proximal patella migration could be correlated (r = 0.85) with femoral growth rate. This was significant at the p = 0.01 level. Girls had a higher correlation of patella height to growth rate than boys. In certain cases, patella alta is an acquired rather than inherited condition; this supports the theory that overgrowth during the growth spurt can lead to patella alta in some individuals.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.