The trochlea is bilinear and oriented medially.
SourceClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 411, (2003), pp. 288-95
Article / Letter to editor
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Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
SubjectUMCN 4.3: Tissue engineering and reconstructive surgery
Malfunctioning of total knee replacements often is related to patellofemoral problems. Because the trochlea guides the patella during flexion and extension, its geometry has a major influence in patellofemoral problems. There is controversy in the literature: relative to the mechanical axis, some authors have found a laterally oriented trochlea and others have found a medially oriented trochlea. The groove of implanted prosthetic femoral components always has lateral or neutral orientations. The objectives of the current study were to clarify the controversy found in the literature, to determine whether the trochlear orientation is truly linear, and to determine whether the orientation depends on the size of the femur. The trochleae of 100 human femurs were measured using a three-dimensional measurement system. Detailed analysis of the results indicated that the trochlea is best described as bilinear, with the distal half oriented 0.2 degrees +/- 2.8 degrees laterally and the proximal half oriented 4.2 degrees +/- 3.2 degrees medially. Trochlear orientation was not dependent on bone size.
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