February 20th, 2015 , J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2015

Extensor Mechanism Disruption After Total Knee Arthroplasty.

Extensor mechanism disruption is a rare and potentially devastating complication associated with total knee arthroplasty. Disruption can occur at the quadriceps or patellar tendons or, in the setting of a fracture, at the patella. Recognition of the risk factors for disruption and prevention via meticulous surgical technique are critical to avoid this complication. Various management techniques and the challenges associated with treatment have been described. Nonsurgical management consists of the use of walking aids and/or knee braces, which may not be acceptable for the active patient. Surgical options include primary repair and reconstructive techniques using allograft, autograft, synthetic material, and gastrocnemius rotational flaps. However, no single method has reliably demonstrated satisfactory outcomes. Although research on reconstructive procedures with synthetic materials has been promising, further study is need to assess the use of these materials.

Copyright 2015 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.