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Knee News

When a New Knee is the Answer for Patellofemoral Arthritis

Patellofemoral arthritis strikes the joint between the kneecap (the patella) and the femur (the thigh bone). When this condition becomes severe, doctors are not always sure how to treat it. Treatment is even more unclear when patients are older and less active.

These authors studied how well total knee replacement worked for older patients with patellofemoral arthritis. They followed 27 patients who had a total of 30 knee replacement surgeries for patellofemoral arthritis. The patients ranged from 59 to 88 years old. They all had pain with walking, rising from sitting to standing, and going up and down stairs. Many patients had knee instability, weakness, and pain at night.

To find out how the patients were doing after total knee replacement, the authors followed them for at least four years. All patients were interviewed and filled out a survey about their knee function and activities. They also had X-rays and physical exams.

The results were positive. The authors rated the function of 28 of the knees as excellent, one good, and one poor. The patient with a poor result had later fallen and torn a tendon in the knee. Aside from this patient, most of the patients were pain-free and could do many of their daily activities without support. The authors conclude that total knee replacement can be a good way to treat patellofemoral arthritis in older patients.


Michael A. Mont, MD, et al. Total Knee Arthroplasty for Patellofemoral Arthritis. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2002. Vol. 84-A. No. 11. Pp. 1977-1981.

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