Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 1 ( April, 2014 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Success of torsional correction surgery after failed surgeries for patellofemoral pain and instability

Peter M. Stevens, Jeremy M. Gililland, Lucas A. Anderson, Jennifer B. Mickelson, Jenifer Nielson, Joshua W. Klatt

Keywords : Pan genu torsion, Miserable malalignment, Tibial torsion, Femoral anteversion, Osteotomy

Citation Information : Stevens PM, Gililland JM, Anderson LA, Mickelson JB, Nielson J, Klatt JW. Success of torsional correction surgery after failed surgeries for patellofemoral pain and instability. 2014; 9 (1):5-12.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-013-0181-8

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Torsional deformities of the femur and/or tibia often go unrecognized in adolescents and adults who present with anterior knee pain, and patellar maltracking or instability. While open and arthroscopic surgical techniques have evolved to address these problems, unrecognized torsion may compromise the outcomes of these procedures. We collected a group of 16 consecutive patients (23 knees), with mean age of 17, who had undergone knee surgery before torsion was recognized and subsequently treated by means of rotational osteotomy of the tibia and/or femur. By follow-up questionnaire, we sought to determine the role of rotational correction at mean 59-month follow-up. We reasoned that, by correcting torsional alignment, we might be able to optimize long-term outcomes and avert repeated knee surgery. Knee pain was significantly improved after torsional treatment (mean 8.6 pre-op vs. 3.3 post-op, p < 0.001), while 70 % of patients did have some continued knee pain postoperatively. Only 43 % of patients had continued patellar instability, and 57 % could trust their knee after surgery. Activity level remained the same or increased in 78 % of patients after torsional treatment. Excluding planned rod removal, subsequent knee surgery for continued anterior knee pain was undertaken on only 3 knees in 2 patients. We believe that malrotation of the lower limb not only raises the propensity for anterior knee symptoms, but is also a under-recognized etiology in the failure of surgeries for anterior knee pain and patellar instability. Addressing rotational abnormalities in the index surgery yields better clinical outcomes than osteotomies performed after other prior knee surgeries.

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