Research Article| Volume 14, ISSUE 6, P592-596, September 1998

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Shortening of the patellar tendon after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

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      In this prospective study, patellar height changes were investigated after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with a mean follow-up of 22.4 months. A total of 114 patients were included. Fifty- two patients (group A) were treated by multiple suture repair, 27 patients (group B) underwent acute ACL reconstruction, and 35 patients (group C) underwent ACL reconstruction > or =6 weeks after injury with a patellar tendon graft. The patellar vertical height ratios (VHR) were evaluated preoperatively (VHR 1), 6 months postoperatively (VHR 2), and at follow-up (VHR 3). For the studied questions, the following answers were obtained: (1) The change of the patella height was the same in all three groups (i.e., disregarding the different surgical procedures). (2) The time elapsed between injury and ACL reconstruction did not influence the shortening of the patellar tendon. (3) Women showed a more pronounced shortening of the patellar tendon than did men. (4) A significant shortening of the patellar tendon occurred in 30% of our patients, and the process of shortening was finished 6 months postoperatively. (5) Anterior knee pain was present in 27.2% of our patients and occurred significantly more often after patellar tendon graftings. (6) Age had no influence on the changes of the patellar height.
      Arthroscopy 1998 Sep;14(6):592-6
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