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Open Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy (Patella Re-alignment)
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



A surgical procedure performed to realign a severely maltracking patella (kneecap). A large incision is made over the knee to expose the knee joint capsule. The tightened capsule is released along the outside of the kneecap allowing it to move toward the middle side of the knee. The edges of the patellar tendon, which spans from the kneecap to the tibial tubercle, is identified. Soft tissue is dissected away from the tendon and underlying bone. Cutting guides are used to make precise cuts in the bone. A segment of bone at the patellar tendon attachment site is freed and moved to bring the patella into alignment. Once the appropriate position is established, the bone is secured in place using screws.

Common Questions about Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy (Patella Re-Alignment)

What is a tibial tubercle osteotomy (patella re-alignment)?

A tibial tubercle osteotomy is a procedure to re-align the patella.

Why is a tibial tubercle osteotomy necessary?

A tibial tubercle osteotomy is necessary when there is severe patellar maltracking. Over time, this can lead to osteoarthritis in the patellofemoral joint.

How is a tibial tubercle osteotomy performed?

A tibial tubercle osteotomy is performed by making an incision above the knee and releasing the knee joint capsule. Precise cuts are made at the tibial tubercle to free the patellar tendon along with the tibial tubercle. The tibial tubercle with the patellar tendon attached to it is then shifted and secured at the correct location with screws.

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