Elongated patellae at the final stage of Osgood-Schlatter disease: a radiographic study

T Visuri, H K Pihlajamäki, V M Mattila, M Kiuru
Knee 2007, 14 (3): 198-203
Aetiology of Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is still unknown. Relative length of the patellar articular surface with the length of the patella, relative height of the tibial tubercle with the sagittal diameter of the tibia, Insall-Salvati, Blackburne-Peel, and Caton-Deschamps indexes, as well as Grelsamer-morphology type of the patella were measured from preoperative plain X-rays in 82 knees of 20-year-old males with OSD and in 87 knees of 20-year-old male controls with normal MRI findings of the knee. Seventy-eight of the OSD patients had separate ossicles. Their mean patellar morphology index was 1.44 and that of the controls was 1.28 (p<0.001), indicating significant lengthening of the patellar body among the OSD group. OSD patients had also significantly more often Grelsamer type II (elongated patellae) than the controls. Tibial tuberosity was significantly higher among OSD patients, but was not correlated with the lengthening of the patella. An increased patellar height among OSD patients was shown by the Blackburne-Peel and Caton-Deschamps indexes (p<0.001) and the Insall-Salvati index (p=0.018). OSD patients exhibit elongated patellae and patellar tendons which may result from long-standing tension of the extensor apparatus during growth spurt, when femoral growth exceeds that of the anterior structures of the knee.

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