Evolution of Technology

Patella Fracture Open Reduction Internal Fixation

Given the high complication rate with metal wires, alternative methods of fixation were developed. Included among these was the advent of dense and durable sutures which function in a similar fashion as the metal wires. The theoretical benefits of this technique is that patient’s will have less painful hardware and decreased need for revision surgeries compared to wire fixation. Ultimately, this culminates to better patient outcomes. In addition, hybrid methods to fix the patella exist where screws are used to fix the fracture and then suture material is used to further reinforce and stabilize the fracture.

Evolution of Diagnosis

Patella Fracture

The patella, also referred to as the ‘kneecap’, is surrounded by tendinous attachments above and below. The function of the this bone to give mechanical advantage to the knee during motion, which is necessary for walking, sitting, and most other everyday activities. A fracture/break in the patella can disrupt the knees ability to extend, which can be severely painful and debilitating. Fractures of the patella can be secondary to trauma, such as a fall or a motor vehicle crash, or also the result of a sudden contraction of the thigh muscles seen is some sporting activities. While some fractures can be treated with a period immobilization and rest, fractures that are significantly displaced (separated bone pieces) or ones that disrupt a patient’s ability to extend the knee may necessitate surgery.