Scientific Article   |    
Reconstruction of a Ruptured Patellar Tendon with Achilles Tendon Allograft Following Total Knee Arthroplasty
Lawrence S. Crossett, MD; Raj K. Sinha, MD, PhD; V. Franklin Sechriest, MD; Harry E. Rubash, MD
View Disclosures and Other Information
Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Lawrence S. Crossett, MD
Raj K. Sinha, MD, PhD
V. Franklin Sechriest, MD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 5200 Centre Avenue, Suite 415, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. E-mail address for R.K. Sinha: sinhark@msx.upmc.edu

Harry E. Rubash, MD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, White Building, Room 601, Boston, MA 02114

The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2002 Aug 01;84(8):1354-1361
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case


Background: Rupture of the patellar tendon after total knee arthroplasty is a rare and debilitating complication. Proper surgical management of this condition remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to review the results of reconstruction of a ruptured patellar tendon with an Achilles tendon allograft following total knee arthroplasty.

Methods: We reviewed our experience with the use of a fresh-frozen Achilles tendon allograft with an attached calcaneal bone graft to restore extensor function in nine patients with patellar tendon rupture following total knee arthroplasty (five primary and four revision). All patients were examined clinically and radiographically at an average of twenty-eight months.

Results: The average knee and functional scores improved from 26 and 14 points, respectively, before the surgery to 81 and 53 points after the surgery. The average extensor lag decreased from 44° preoperatively to 3° postoperatively, and the average range of motion of the knee increased from 88° to 107°. Two grafts failed in the early postoperative period. Both were repaired successfully. Radiographs showed an average proximal patellar migration of 17.8 mm, which did not appear to affect extensor function.

Conclusions: This short-term follow-up study showed that once an Achilles allograft has healed, it can serve as a reliable reconstruction of a ruptured patellar tendon following total knee arthroplasty. This technique may be particularly suited for patients in whom the extensor mechanism was compromised by multiple prior operations. Continued follow-up is necessary to determine the long-term durability of these results.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    Results provided by:
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    Georgia - Choice Care Occupational Medicine & Orthopaedics
    Pennsylvania - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center