Porous Tantalum Patellar Augmentation: The Importance of Residual Bone Stock

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Trabecular metal augmentation of bone defects has been associated with favorable bone ingrowth. Animal studies also suggest fibrous tissue attachment to trabecular metal can be achieved. We treated 16 patients with total knee arthroplasty (18 knees) with severe patellar bone loss using trabecular metal patellar reconstruction. The patients were divided into two groups based on the amount of residual patellar bone stock present at the time of surgery: Group 1 (six patients, seven knees) with no patellar bone stock and Group 2 (10 patients, 11 knees) in whom at least 50% of the patellar component surface was covered by host bone. All seven patellar components in Group 1 loosened within 1 year. Two of these developed necrosis of the extensor mechanism leading to extensor mechanism discontinuity. One component in Group 2 became infected and loosened, whereas the remaining 10 components remained stable at minimum 12-month followup. Our results suggest stable fixation of a trabecular metal patellar component can be achieved when residual bone is present for implant fixation, but early loosening is likely to occur when soft tissue is used for fixation to the implant.Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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