What is it?
A new arthroscopic method for realigning the patella which eliminates the need for an incision. Traditionally, patients with an unstable patella are subjected to an extensive operative procedure that involves making an incision to tighten the inner ligaments controlling the tracking of the patella.
Who is eligible?
This method is currently being utilized for patients with abnormal tracking or instability of the patella.
How does it work?
This method, developed by Dr. Halbrecht, has been utilized successfully since 1994.
For severe cases of malalignment or when the patella actually dislocates an arthroscopic suturing method is utilized. Sutures are placed and tied from inside the joint, thus eliminating the need for an incision.
(A) Pre- and (B) post- operative appearance of patella following arthroscopic realignment.
X-ray appearance of patella (A) before and (B) after realignment.
An even newer technique for treatment of some types of patella instability is the use of a heated probe to shrink the stretched patella ligament or retinacullum. This method eliminates the need for any incisions or sutures in the knee. This method is currently being utilized for patients with less severe instability of the patella (called subluxation). With this method, rather than using sutures to tighten the ligaments and realign the patella, the stretched ligaments are heated which shrinks and tightens them.
Patella”All-inside” (A) Pre- and (B) Post- realignment.
A heated probe is used to shrink the stretched patella ligament or retinacullum. This method eliminates the need for any incisions or sutures in the knee.
What are the results?
So far none of the patients has had any recurrent instability and all are extremely pleased with their surgical results. X-ray studies have confirmed the improvement in tracking of the patella. Dr. Halbrecht has presented these results recently at several sports medicine conferences and has published the results in the Journal of Arthroscopy in 2001 (PDF 1,492KB).
Arthroscopic Patella Realignment for dislocating patella.
Dr Halbrecht San Francisco