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Using a new, non-invasive method, we measured the patellofemoral force (PFF) in cadaver knees mounted in a rig to simulate weight-bearing. The PFF was measured from 20 degrees to 120 degrees of flexion before and after implanting three designs of knee prosthesis. Medial unicompartmental arthroplasty with a meniscal-bearing prosthesis and with retention of both cruciate ligaments caused no significant change in the PFF. After arthroplasty with a posterior-cruciate-retaining prosthesis and division of the anterior cruciate ligament, the PFF decreased in extension and increased by 20% in flexion. Implantation of a posterior stabilised prosthesis and division of both cruciate ligaments produced a decrease in the PFF in extension but maintained normal load in flexion. There was a direct relationship between the PFF and the angle made with the patellar tendon and the long axis of the tibia. The abnormalities of the patellar tendon angle which resulted from implantation of the two total prostheses explain the observed changes in the PFF and show how the mechanics of the patellofemoral joint depend upon the kinematics of the tibiofemoral articulation.


Journal article


J bone joint surg br

Publication Date





900 - 906


Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Biomechanical Phenomena, Femur, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Knee Joint, Knee Prosthesis, Patella, Range of Motion, Articular