Patellar cartilage loss does not affect early outcomes of total knee arthroplasty performed without patella resurfacing.
The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes and cost economics of TKA without patella resurfacing in patients with and without patellar cartilage loss.Prospective case control study of 209 consecutive patients undergoing TKA without patella resurfacing. Patella cartilage status was documented intra-operatively: 108 patients had patella cartilage loss (mean age 70 ± 9.7, mean BMI 31 ± 6.2, 72 (67%) female) and 101 control patients did not (age 68 ± 9.2, BMI 31 ± 5.6, 52 (51%) female). The primary outcome measure was Oxford Knee Score (OKS) improvement at one year. Secondary outcomes included OKS, EQ-5D, anterior knee pain (AKP), Kujala scores and reoperation at 2-4 years. The cost to prevent secondary patella resurfacing was calculated.There were more women in the patella cartilage loss group (67% Vs 51%, p = 0.037), but no other preoperative characteristics differed. There was no difference in OKS improvement between those with and without patella cartilage loss at 1 year (mean difference -1.03, -3.68 to 1.62 95%CI, p = 0.446) or 2-4 years (mean difference 1.52, -1.43 to 4.45 95%CI, p = 0.310). At 2-4 years there was no difference in AKP (14/87 with vs 17/80 without, p = 0.430) nor Kujala score (mean difference 2.66, -3.82 to 9.13 95%CI, p = 0.418). Routine patella resurfacing would have cost £58,311 to prevent one secondary resurfacing.There was no difference in OKS, anterior knee pain, reoperation or Kujala scores up to 2-4 years between patients with and without patellar cartilage loss following TKA without patella resurfacing. Resurfacing for this indication would not have been a cost effective intervention.