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Bone Grafting the Patellar Defect After Bone–Patellar Tendon–Bone Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Decreases Anterior Knee Morbidity: A Systematic Review

      Purpose

      The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the impact of bone grafting of patellar defects on reported anterior knee morbidity and subjective outcomes after bone–patellar tendon–bone autograft reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament.

      Methods

      A systematic electronic search of MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library was carried out. All English-language prospective randomized clinical trials published from January 1, 2000, to July 24, 2020, were eligible for inclusion. All studies addressing patellar defect grafting were eligible for inclusion regardless of the timing of surgery, graft type, surgical technique, or rehabilitation protocol.

      Results

      A total of 39 studies with 1,955 patients were included for analysis. There were 796 patients in the no patellar grafting (NPG) group, with a mean age range of 22.7 to 33.0 years, and 1,159 patients in the patellar grafting (PG) group, with a mean age range of 17.8 to 34.7 years. The visual analog scale pain score ranged from 1.2 to 5.1 in the NPG group compared with 0.3 to 3.7 in the PG group. The proportion of patients with anterior knee pain ranged from 19% to 81% in the NPG group and from 15% to 32% in the PG group. Moderate to severe kneeling pain was reported in 22% to 57% of patients in the NPG group and 10% of those in the PG group. The percentage of patients with at least 3° of extension loss ranged from 4% to 43% in the NPG group and from 2% to 11% in the PG group.

      Conclusions

      PG favors decreased anterior knee pain, kneeling pain, and extension loss compared with non-grafted defects; however, the functional outcomes are comparable. Owing to the heterogeneity in reporting, statistical conclusions could not be drawn.

      Level of Evidence

      Level II, systematic review of Level I and II studies.
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