The patella is a sesamoid bone on the front of the knee that articulates along the front of the femur, protects the knee from impact, and is part of the tendon of quadriceps muscle which is responsible for straightening the knee, standing and jumping. Bipartite patella is a condition where the cartilaginous centers of growth fail to fuse during development to form a single complete bony patella. It can occur in one or both knees. Bipartite patella is commonly asymptomatic and considered a normal variant. However, in a small percentage of patients, often following trauma, movement or instability of the bipartite fragment can cause pain and limitations and may require surgery to remove or repair the bipartite fragment.
Depending on the size of the unstable bipartite fragment, there are different treatment options. If the fragment is small enough, the bipartite fragment can be removed arthroscopically. Dr Chudik performs arthroscopic surgery with the assistance of an arthroscope, a small camera that allows you look inside the knee through small incisions. Small arthroscopic shavers and cutting instruments are used to remove the fragment and contour remaining edge of the patellar surface. For some larger lesions, an open incision may be required to remove or repair the fragment. Dr. Chudik repairs the fragment by removing the soft-tissue and freshening up the surfaces between the fragments and connecting them together with special hardware. Dr. Chudik will discuss the various options with you and help determine the best treatment for you.