The Outcome of Total Knee Arthroplasty With and Without Patellar Resurfacing up to 17 Years: A Report From the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry

Joseph A. Coory, Kelvin G. Tan, Sarah L. Whitehouse, Alesha Hatton, Stephen E. Graves, Ross W. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patellar resurfacing in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) remains a controversial issue after more than 4 decades of TKA. Despite a growing body of evidence from registry data, resurfacing is still based largely on a surgeon's preference and training. The purpose of this study is to provide long-term outcomes for patellar resurfaced compared to when the patella is not resurfaced. Methods: Data from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry (1999-2017) were used for this study. The analysis included 570,735 primary TKAs undertaken for osteoarthritis. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 17-year cumulative percent revision rates were used to compare revision rates between 4 subgroups: minimally stabilized (MS) patellar resurfacing, posterior stabilized (PS) patellar resurfacing, MS unresurfaced, and PS unresurfaced patella. Additional analyses of the patellar implant type and a comparison of inlay and onlay patellar resurfacing were also performed. Results: For all primary TKA, procedures where the patella was not resurfaced have a higher rate of revision compared to procedures where the patella was resurfaced (HR, 1.31; confidence interval, 1.28-1.35; P < .001). Unresurfaced PS knees have the highest cumulative percent revision at 17 years (11.1%), followed by MS unresurfaced (8.8%), PS resurfaced (7.9%), and MS resurfaced (7.1%). Inlay patellar resurfacing has a higher rate of revision compared to onlay patellar resurfacing (HR, 1.27; confidence interval, 1.17-1.37; P < .001). Conclusion: Resurfacing the patella reduces the rate of revision for both MS and PS knees. MS knees with patellar resurfacing have the lowest rate of revision. Onlay patella designs are associated with a lower revision rate compared to inlay patella designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • anterior knee pain
  • outcome
  • patellar resurfacing
  • registry
  • revision
  • total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this