Author(s): Fulkerson JP
We followed 30 patients for more than 2 years after anteromedial tibial tubercle transfer for persistent patellofemoral pain associated with patellar articular degeneration. Twelve of these patients were followed more than 5 years. We report 93% good and excellent results subjectively and 89% good and excellent results objectively. The quality of improvement was sustained in all 12 of the patients who were evaluated again after more than 5 years from surgery. When examined separately, 75% of those patients with advanced patellar arthrosis achieved a good result; none of these patients achieved an excellent result. Postoperative continuous passive motion has markedly reduced the incidence of stiffness. Serious complications such as compartment syndrome, infection, and skin slough were avoided completely in 51 consecutive cases. Patellofemoral contact pressure studies in five cadaver knees have shown that anteromedial tibial tubercle transfer can provide substantial reduction of patellofemoral contact stress while helping to balance medial and lateral facet pressures. This surgical procedure is mechanically and clinically successful for alleviating intractable pain related to patellar malalignment and articular degeneration. This procedure enables the majority of appropriately selected patients with malalignment and patellar articular degeneration to resume increased levels of activity with substantially diminished pain.