Kneecap Problems after Total Knee Replacement

Unfortunately, knee joint replacement doesn't always end knee problems. In some cases, the new knee joint doesn't work well. It may even create new problems. Sometimes revision surgery is necessary to fix the problem. This means the surgeon fixes or replaces the artificial knee joint.

Patellofemoral (PF) problems account for about 50 percent of revision surgeries. Patellofemoral refers to the area where the patella (the kneecap) meets the femur (the thighbone).

This article sums up the most common PF problems after knee replacement surgery. It gives a history of knee joint design. Improved designs have made revision surgery much less likely over the past twenty years. The article also discusses common PF problems. The authors present ways surgeons can help prevent or fix these problems.

The authors note that good surgical technique is key to avoiding PF problems. The authors also credit better understanding of how the knee works for improving outcomes after total knee replacement.

Reference: 

David A. Parker, MBBS, et al. Extensor Mechanism Failure Associated with Total Knee Arthroplasty: Prevention and Management. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. July/August 2003. Vol. 11. No. 4. Pp. 238-247.

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