Distalization of the Tibial Tubercle for Patellar Stabilization Combined With Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction: Length of Distalization or Residual Patella Alta and its Affect on Outcome

Andrew Schmiesing, Marta Engelking, Julie Agel, Elizabeth A. Arendt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous research supports that distal translation of the tibial tubercle osteotomy (dTTO) for patients with recurrent lateral patellar dislocation (R-LPD) and patella alta is effective for surgical patellar stabilization.

HYPOTHESIS/PURPOSE: The main purpose of this article is to evaluate (1) the results of modifying the surgical threshold and postoperative goal of patellar height measurements for surgical stabilization originated in the "menu à la carte" approach to patellar surgical stabilization and (2) the relationship between the distance distalized in millimeters and postoperative complications. Our hypothesis was that dTTO with medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction (MPFL-R) will successfully stabilize the patella with improvement in outcome scores and few complications, using a modification of the original menu à la carte as our surgical algorithm.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: A total of 68 consecutive patients with R-LPD underwent dTTO and MPFL-R for surgical patellar stabilization by a single surgeon between May 2009 and September 2015. Surgical indications were R-LPD combined with patella alta. The surgical threshold for dTTO was Caton-Deschamps index (CDI) or Insall-Salvati ratio ≥1.4 and/or a patellar trochlear index <0.15. The postoperative surgical goal for patellar height was a CDI of 1.1 to 1.2. Length of the distalization was computed by using the CDI measurement as the primary intraoperative guide and measured intraoperatively with a ruler. Clinical, radiographic, and patient outcome measures were reviewed.

RESULTS: The mean CDI preoperatively was 1.40 and postoperatively it was 1.09. The mean distalization was 9.9 mm (range, 4-15 mm). Three patients (4.4%) had frank R-LPD postoperatively. Ten patients had residual patella alta (CDI >1.2), with 1 redislocation. Mean postoperative CDI in the recurrent dislocation group was 1.13 (range, 1.06-1.25) as compared with 1.09 (range, 0.92-1.35) in the nonrecurrent group ( P = 0.65). Complications included 3 tibial fractures (4.4%) and postoperative knee arthrofibrosis in 6 patients (8.8%), with mean distalization greater in the arthrofibrosis group ( P = .04). Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) values improved in all domains, including a 31-point increase in Quality of Life.

CONCLUSION: dTTO with MPFL-R for patients with patella alta leads to a high rate of normalization of patellar height measurements (87%) and patellar stabilization (95.6%). Residual patella alta is not associated with an increased risk of recurrence. The length of dTTO up to 15 mm is not associated with an increase in postoperative complications, except for an increased prevalence of arthrofibrosis (8.8%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1634
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • medial patellofemoral ligament
  • patella alta
  • patellofemoral instability
  • tibial tubercle osteotomy
  • Patellar Dislocation/complications
  • Humans
  • Patellofemoral Joint/surgery
  • Joint Dislocations
  • Disease Progression
  • Patella/surgery
  • Quality of Life
  • Joint Instability/etiology
  • Ligaments, Articular/surgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Tibia/surgery

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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