Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc, vol.13, no.7, pp.539-44, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Several controversies exist regarding the surgical difficulties and the results of total knee arthroplasty performed after failed valgus high tibial osteotomy (HTO), and the main subject is the change in patellar height that results as patella baja or infera. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate patellar height after valgus HTO and the measurement methods that were actually used. Eighty-five knees that were subjected to valgus HTO were evaluated both preoperatively and postoperatively according to the Insall-Salvati Index (ISI), Blackburne-Peel Index (BPI), and Caton Index (CI) to assess any alteration of patellar tendon height that was present. All cases underwent closing wedge osteotomy with three staples or plate internal fixation and were allowed early range of motion. Significant decrease in mean patellar height ratios was detected according to all three indexes at 85 months of mean follow-up. The percentages of the decrease were 8.26% in ISI, 9.08% in BPI, and 6.34% in CI. Two knees showed patella infera according to ISI, one according to BPI and three according to CI. There were no significant correlations between the indexes and clinical status of the patients. Elevation of patella relative to the femur in closing wedge valgus HTO procedure due to the shortening of the segment between tibial tuberosity and joint line is normally expected. A significant decrease in patellar height according to ISI suggests that there should be patellar tendon shortening as patellar height cannot be changed. BPI and CI for determining patellar height in valgus HTO do not accurately measure the alteration of patella because they may affect the tibial inclination and antero-posterior translation of the proximal fragment. Another measuring system based on femoral reference points should be proposed to determine the exact change of patellar height in the valgus HTO procedure.