Patellar maltracking is prevalent among patellofemoral pain subjects with patella alta: An upright, weightbearing MRI study

Saikat Pal, Thor F. Besier, Gary S. Beaupre, Michael Fredericson, Scott L. Delp, Garry E. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine if patellar maltracking is more prevalent among patellofemoral (PF) pain subjects with patella alta compared to subjects with normal patella height. We imaged 37 PF pain and 15 pain free subjects in an open-configuration magnetic resonance imaging scanner while they stood in a weightbearing posture. We measured patella height using the Caton-Deschamps, Blackburne-Peel, Insall-Salvati, Modified Insall-Salvati, and Patellotrochlear indices, and classified the subjects into patella alta and normal patella height groups. We measured patella tilt and bisect offset from oblique-axial plane images, and classified the subjects into maltracking and normal tracking groups. Patellar maltracking was more prevalent among PF pain subjects with patella alta compared to PF pain subjects with normal patella height (two-tailed Fisher's exact test, p < 0.050). Using the Caton-Deschamps index, 67% (8/12) of PF pain subjects with patella alta were maltrackers, whereas only 16% (4/25) of PF pain subjects with normal patella height were maltrackers. Patellofemoral pain subjects classified as maltrackers displayed a greater patella height compared to the pain free and PF pain subjects classified as normal trackers (two-tailed unpaired t-tests with Bonferroni correction, p < 0.017). This study adds to our understanding of PF pain in two ways - (1) we demonstrate that patellar maltracking is more prevalent in PF pain subjects with patella alta compared to subjects with normal patella height; and (2) we show greater patella height in PF pain subjects compared to pain free subjects using four indices commonly used in clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-457
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Keywords

  • bisect offset
  • patella alta
  • patella height
  • patella tilt
  • patellar maltracking
  • patellofemoral pain

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