Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Article

Effects of morphological changes in the patellar tendon on the development of anterior knee pain after intramedullary nailing for tibial shaft fractures: A retrospective comparative study

1.

Clinic of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Ankara Bilkent City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

2.

Clinic of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Silopi State Hospital, Şırnak, Turkey

AOTT 2020; 54: 634-638
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2020.20232
Read: 16 Downloads: 18 Published: 30 December 2020

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of morphological changes of the patellar tendon (length, width, and thickness) on the development of anterior knee pain (AKP) after intramedullary nailing (IMN) of tibial shaft fractures.

Methods: A total of 39 patients, treated by IMN using the transpatellar approach for tibial shaft fractures, were retrospectively reviewed and included in the study. The patients were then divided into 2 groups based on the presence of AKP: group A, patients who developed AKP (9 men, 9 women; mean age=35.39±9.32 years), and group B, patients without AKP (13 men, 8 women; mean age=41.38±14.78 years). To assess the morphological changes in the patellar tendon, magnetic resonance imaging was performed on the operated and unoperated, contralateral knees of the patients. The patellar tendon index (PTI) was calculated using the length, width, and thickness of the patellar tendon, and a set of variables was established to be a proportion of the measurements of the operated knees to those of the unoperated ones (operated/healthy PTI ratio). PTI ratios were compared between both the groups. Furthermore, the morphological features of the patellar tendon, including the length, width, and thickness, were examined within the groups as independent variables. To assess pain intensity in group A, a 10-cm visual analogue scale (VAS) was used. To evaluate functional status, the Lysholm knee scoring system was used.

Results: The PTI ratio was significantly higher in group A (1.37±0.12) than in group B (1.03±0.08) (p<0.001). In group A, the mean VAS score was 5.35±1.11, and a moderate linear correlation was found between PTI ratios and VAS scores (r=0.494, p=0.044). The mean Lysholm score was significantly lower in group A (80.17±3.05) than in group B (89.76±3.05) (p<0.001). In group A, the width and thickness of the patellar tendon were found to be significantly different between the operated and unoperated knees (p=0.024 and p=0.002, respectively). In group B, there was no difference between the operated and unoperated knees in terms of the 3 measurements (length, width, and thickness) (p=0.762, p=0.753, and p=0.118, respectively).

Conclusion: Evidence from this study revealed that morphological changes occurring in the patellar tendon after IMN for tibial shaft fractures using a transpatellar approach may have a significant role in the development of AKP. The increase in the tendon width and thickness may be the cause of pain and insufficient knee function in such patients.

Level of Evidence: Level III, Therapeutic study

Cite this article as: Ceyhan E, İnci F, Yavuz İA, Gürhan U, Yıldırım AÖ, Öken ÖF. Effects of morphological changes in the patellar tendon on the development of anterior knee pain after intramedullary nailing for tibial shaft fractures: A retrospective comparative study. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2020; 54(6): 634-8.

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ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294