Comparison of Tension-Band Wiring With the Cable Pin System in Patella Fractures: A Randomized Prospective Study

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To compare the outcome of tension-band wiring (TBW) with the cable pin system (CPS) for transverse fractures of the patella.


Randomized prospective study.


Academic Level I trauma center.


From February 2008 to December 2011, 73 consecutive patients with transverse fractures of the patella were prospectively enrolled in this study.


The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups: one group was treated using the CPS, and the other group was treated using the modified TBW.

Main Outcome Measurements:

The clinical outcome assessment included analyses of the radiographic images, the modified Hospital for Special Surgery scoring system, and complications.


The follow-up time ranged from 12 to 29 months. All fractures healed, with a union rate of 100%. The fracture healing time was significantly shorter in the CPS group (8.51 ± 2.59 weeks, n = 34) compared with the TBW group (11.79 ± 3.04 weeks, n = 39). Postoperative complications in the CPS and TBW groups were observed in 1 and 9 patients, respectively, a difference that was statistically significant. The mean Hospital for Special Surgery score for the CPS group (90.53 ± 5.19 points) was significantly higher than that for the TBW group (81.36 ± 12.71 points).


The CPS is a viable option for transverse fractures of the patella and is associated with a shorter healing time, fewer complications, and better function than TBW.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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