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Knee News

Results of Total Knee Replacement With and Without a New Knee Cap

The results of any one medical study can offer good information. But comparing the results of many studies is even more helpful. This is called meta-analysis.

In this meta-analysis doctors compared the results of total knee replacements (TKRs) with and without patellar resurfacing. This means the bony kneecap is removed. It's replaced with a metal or plastic-backed implant.

The authors asked these questions:

  • Are there fewer cases of reoperation when the patella is resurfaced?
  • How often does knee pain occur after each type of operation?
  • What kind of knee function is possible?

    Ten studies including 1,223 knees had data that could answer these questions. Researchers used number of reoperations, knee pain, and function to measure results. They found there were fewer reoperations and less knee pain for patients with resurfaced patellae. Knee function seemed to be about the same in both groups.

    Other studies show a higher number of reoperations over time for patients with resurfaced patellae. The authors conclude that this treatment has some benefit in the short run. More studies past five years are needed.

    Emilios E. Pakos, MD, et al. Patellar Resurfacing in Total Knee Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. July 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 7. Pp. 1438-1445.


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