Lateral patellar maltracking due to trochlear dysplasia: A computational study

S. Cyrus Rezvanifar, Brett L. Flesher, Kerwyn C. Jones, John J. Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The study focuses on the influence of trochlear dysplasia on patellar tracking related to patellar instability. Methods: Knee extension against gravity and dual-limb squatting were simulated with seven models representing knees being treated for recurrent instability. Trochlear depth was altered to represent lateral trochlear inclination (LTI) values of 6°, 12° and 24°. Repeated measures analyses compared patellar lateral shift (bisect offset index) across different LTI values. Peak bisect offset index during extension and squatting was correlated with patella alta (Caton–Deschamps index) and maximum lateral position of the tibial tuberosity. Results: Bisect offset index varied significantly (p < 0.05) between different LTI values at multiple flexion angles throughout simulated knee extension and squatting. Average bisect offset values were 1.02, 0.95, and 0.86 for LTI = 6°, 12°, and 24°, respectively, at 0° of flexion for knee extension. The strongest correlation occurred between peak bisect offset index and lateral position of the tibial tuberosity for knee squatting with LTI = 6° (r2 = 0.81, p = 0.006). The strength of the correlation decreased as LTI increased. Caton–Deschamps was only significantly correlated with patellar tracking for LTI = 24° during knee squatting. Conclusions: A shallow trochlear groove increases lateral patellar maltracking. A lateral tibial tuberosity in combination with trochlear dysplasia increases lateral patellar tracking and the risk of patellar instability. Patella alta has relatively little influence on patellar tracking in combination with trochlear dysplasia due to the limited articular constraint provided by the trochlear groove.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1234-1242
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational simulation
  • Patellar instability
  • Patellar tracking
  • Trochlear dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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