Long-Term Results of Patellar Bone-Grafting for Severe Patellar Bone Loss during Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty

Matthew P. Abdel, Stephen M. Petis, Michael J. Taunton, Kevin I. Perry, David G. Lewallen, Arlen D. Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background:There is no consensus on managing severe patellar bone loss after total knee arthroplasty. We previously described an initial series involving a novel technique of patellar bone-grafting with a short follow-up. The purpose of this study was to determine long-term survivorship and the radiographic and clinical results of patellar bone-grafting during revision total knee arthroplasty in a larger series with an extended follow-up.Methods:We identified 90 patients from a single institution who underwent 93 patellar bone-grafting procedures for severe patellar bone loss from 1997 to 2014. The mean age of the patients was 70 years, and 46% of patients were female. Forty-five knees (48%) underwent first-time revisions, and 19 knees (20%) had undergone a failed attempt at patellar resurfacings. Intraoperative patellar caliper thickness increased from a mean of 7 to 25 mm after patellar bone-grafting (p < 0.01). Radiographic review determined changes in patellar height, tracking, and remodeling. Knee Society scores (KSSs) were calculated. The mean follow-up was 8 years (range, 2 to 18 years). Kaplan-Meier methods determined survivorship free of any revision and any reoperation. Cox proportional hazards analysis determined predictive factors for failure.Results:Survivorship free of patellar revision was 96% at 10 years. Survivorship free of any revision was 84% at 10 years. Survivorship free of any reoperation was 78% at 10 years. Increasing patient age was the only protective factor against further patellar revision (hazard ratio, 0.95; p < 0.01). When comparing initial radiographs with final radiographs, patellar height decreased from 22 to 19 mm (p < 0.01), 80% compared with 59% of patellae articulated centrally in the trochlea (p = 0.01), and 32% compared with 77% had remodeling over the lateral femoral condyle (p < 0.01). Anterior knee pain decreased from 51% to 27% postoperatively (p = 0.01). The mean knee flexion improved from 101° to 108° (p = 0.03). The mean KSS improved from 50 to 85 points (p < 0.01).Conclusions:Reliable long-term clinical results can be expected with patellar bone-grafting for severe patellar bone loss during revision total knee arthroplasty. Pain, range of motion, and other reported outcomes improve despite radiographic changes to patellar height, tracking, and remodeling. This technique is a durable and reliable option when standard patellar resurfacing is not possible.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1636-1644
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 18 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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