Anchor suture fixation of distal pole fractures of patella: twenty seven cases and comparison to partial patellectomy

Assaf Kadar, Haggai Sherman, Michael Drexler, Eldad Katz, Ely L. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: Partial patellectomy (PP) and reattachment of the patellar ligament with transosseous suturing is the mainstay of surgical treatment for distal pole patellar fractures. An anchor suturing (AS) technique has recently been reported as an alternative to PP in such fractures and allows for bone-to-bone interface and possibly superior fracture healing than bone-to-tendon interface with PP. We present our experience with AS and compare it to PP. Methods: Between 2006 and 2011, 60 patients with distal pole patellar fracture underwent either AS (n = 27) or PP (n = 33). We retrospectively gathered their demographic data and information on fracture type, fixation technique, operation time, postoperative complications and knee range of motion. A telephone survey was performed to grade functional outcomes with standard questionnaires (the SF-12 for quality of life, the Kujala score for patellofemoral function and a visual analog scale [VAS] pain score). Results: AS was equivalent to PP in terms of residual pain and functional outcomes (VAS: 2.45 vs. 2.26, p = 0.83 and Kujala score: 74.3 vs. 69, p = 0.351, respectively) as well as for knee range of motion. Complications included three cases of infection in each group, two cases of early hardware failure and one case of non-union in the AS group. Operation time was significantly shorter for AS compared to PP (68.5 vs. 79.1 min, p = 0.03). Conclusions: AS is non-inferior to PP for function and pain after distal pole patellar fractures and is superior to PP with regard to operative time. Common complications of this technique are hardware failure and infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anchor
  • Complications
  • Outcomes
  • Patella distal pole
  • Patellar fracture
  • Revision rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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