Anterior knee pain is still a major problem in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Although the most widely accepted opinion is that anterior knee pain is often associated with a patellofemoral etiology, there is no clear consensus as to etiology or treatment. Disabling pain receptors by electrocautery could theoretically achieve denervation of the anterior knee region. The present prospective randomized controlled study aimed to evaluate results after patellar denervation with electrocautery in TKA at a minimum follow-up of 2years.
Patellar denervation provides some benefit in terms of pain and clinical outcomes after TKA without patellar resurfacing.
Patients and methods
Clinical and radiological results for 35 patients with single-stage bilateral TKA (70 knees; 26 women, nine men; mean age, 68years [range, 58 to 77years]) were reviewed. In addition to removal of all osteophytes, patellar denervation by electrocautery was performed on one patella; and debridement alone, removing all osteophytes, was performed on the contralateral patella, as a control. KSS score and a visual analog scale (VAS) were used to assess pre- and postoperative anterior knee pain.
Mean follow-up was 36months (24to 60months). No revisions or re-operations were performed. There were no patellar fractures. On all parameters (KSS score, range of motion and VAS), there was a statistically significant pre- to postoperative difference in favor of the denervation group.
Patellar denervation with electrocautery can reduce anterior knee pain, with satisfactory clinical and radiological outcome, in TKA without patellar resurfacing.
Level of evidence
Level II: low-powered prospective randomized trial.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Patellar denervation, Electrocautery, Anterior knee pain, Total knee arthroplasty