STUDY DESIGN: Case report. BACKGROUND: Patellar fracture is a rare but significant complication following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction when using a bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) autograft. The purpose of these case reports is to describe 2 cases in which patellar fracture occurred during rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction using a BPTB. CASE DESCRIPTION: Both patients were 23-year-old males referred for rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction using a BPTB autograft. They were both progressing satisfactorily in rehabilitation until sustaining a fracture of the patella. One fracture occurred during the performance of the eccentric phase of a knee extension exercise during the sixth week of rehabilitation (7 weeks postsurgery), whereas the other fracture occurred during testing of the patientís quadriceps maximum voluntary isometric contraction in the ninth week of rehabilitation (10 weeks postsurgery). Both patients were subsequently treated with open reduction and internal fixation of the patella. DISCUSSION: During rehabilitation following ACL reconstruction using BPTB autograft, clinicians should consider the need to balance the sometimes-competing goals of improving quadriceps strength while providing protection to the healing graft, minimization of patellofemoral pain, and protection of the patellar donor site. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Harm, level 4.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2009;39(4):278-286, Epub 15 December 2008. doi:10.2519/jospt.2009.2864
KEY WORDS: ACL, failure, knee, load, strain
The purpose of these case reports is to describe 2 cases in which patellar fracture occurred during rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using a bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) autograft.
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