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The treatment of acquired patella baja with proximalize the tibial tuberosity



Acquired patella baja may result in decreased range of motion of the knee, extensor lag, and anterior knee pain. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of tibial tubercle osteotomy with proximal displacement.


Between 1998 and 2011, a proximalization of the tibial tuberosity was performed in 15 patients (15 knees) with patella baja diagnosed using the Blackburne–Peel ratio. Clinical outcomes included the Tegner Lysholm knee scoring scales, the WOMAC questionnaire, the short form-12 (SF-12), and a visual analogue score (VAS) pain scale.


Fifteen proximalizations of the tibial tuberosity were performed, with a mean follow-up period of 64 months (5–160). The mean patient age was 59 years (41–86 years). The mean preoperative Blackburne–Peel ratio of 0.4 (0.1–0.6) was improved to a mean of 1.0 (0.8–1.2) post-operatively, which was associated with significant improvements in the Lysholm knee scoring scale from 13.3 ± 13.0 to 86.7 ± 10.4 points (p < 0.0001). Quality of life, as measured using the SF-12 outcome, also improved significantly (p < 0.0001), as did all WOMAC questionnaire score subscales (p < 0.0001). The VAS preoperative status for pain improved from 8.3 ± 2.0 to 1.5 ± 1.8. No patient had delayed or non-union of the osteotomy site.


A series of patients with patella baja, treated with proximalization of the tibial tuberosity, achieved satisfactory outcomes in terms of pain relief and improved function, without major complication.

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The authors wish to thank Ms. Elizabeth Wood for all her effort and support in this study.

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Correspondence to Michael Drexler.

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Drexler, M., Dwyer, T., Marmor, M. et al. The treatment of acquired patella baja with proximalize the tibial tuberosity. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 21, 2578–2583 (2013).

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