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Whether resurfacing or not resurfacing the patella during total knee arthroplasty (TKA) still is a challenge to orthopedic surgeons. A significant reason for this controversy is the far from perfect outcomes of both techniques, resulting from inadequate knowledge of normal patellar dimensions in a diseased one. The primary purpose of the current study is to find the pre-diseased patellar dimensions and the ethnic differences in patellar dimensions. We measured the patella's dimensions on 927 normal young adult knee MRIs from seven different ethnicities. Besides comparing the dimensions between sexes, ages, and sides, we analyzed the differences among ethnic groups. The average thickness was 25.12±2.33 mm; the average width was 44.57±4.32 mm, the average articular surface length was 32.69±3.75 mm, with significant gender, age, and ethnic differences. There were also significant differences in dimensions among ethnic groups, except for between the Indians and Far Eastern Asians and between the Arabs and North Africans. We could also find a robust mathematical relationship between the patella's width, length, and thickness. The ethnic differences in patellar dimensions found in this study can help optimize surgical technique and implant designs for patellar resurfacing. The mathematical equation will help the surgeons find the normal, pre-diseased patella thickness to prevent over-or understuffing during the patellar resurfacing.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.