Patella nonresurfacing in total knee arthroplasty was reviewed retrospectively in 49 knees (42 patients). Thirteen patients (17 knees) died leaving 29 patients (32 knees) in the final study group. The minimum length of followup was 10 years and averaged 11.7 years (range, 10–13.4 years). The diagnosis was primary osteoarthritis in 26 knees, posttraumatic arthritis in four, osteonecrosis in one, and Paget's disease in one. Patients were evaluated using the Knee Society score, a patella score, and radiographs. The mean Knee Society score improved from 52.8 to 87.5 points postoperatively and functional score improved from 57.5 to 84.5 points postoperatively. Anterior knee pain was reported in six knees (20%). Only one patient required secondary resurfacing of the patella because of postoperative anterior knee pain. No significant correlation was found between anterior knee pain and patellofemoral joint space, patellar sclerosis, Insall-Salvati ratio, patellar tilt, gender, obesity, or age. Based on the need for secondary patellar resurfacing because of anterior knee pain, the 10-year survival was 97.5%. At minimum 10-year followup, retaining the patella in total knee arthroplasty in selected patients with osteoarthritis of the osteoarthritic knee can yield acceptable results.
*Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Pundang CHA Hospital, Pochon CHA University Medical School, Kyungido, Korea
**Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
†Regionalspital Sta. Maria, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Switzerland
‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, New England Baptist Hospital, 125 Parker Hill Ave., Boston, Massachusetts.