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Patho-morphology of patellar instability in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Knee 2024 April 24
BACKGROUND: Children and adolescents have the highest incidence of patellar instability among the population. We aimed to identify patho-morphological and epidemiological factors associated with patellar instability, and to identify factors predisposing to recurrence in children and adolescents.

METHODS: Published and unpublished literature databases, conference proceedings and the reference lists of included studies were searched to the 14th of March 2024. Studies were eligible if they compared history characteristics, examination features and radiological parameters between patients with and without instability, or evaluated risk factors for instability recurrence. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed. Included studies were appraised using tools respective of study design.

RESULTS: The evidence was moderate to low in quality. Forty-five studies (including 9000 patients) were eligible. Tibial tubercle - tibial groove (TT-TG) distance (weighted mean difference [WMD] 5.96 mm, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 4.94 to 6.99 mm), sulcus angle (WMD: 13.93˚, 95% CI: 9.1˚ to 18.8˚), and Insall-Salvati index (WMD: 0.2, 95% CI: 0.16 to 0.23) were greater in patients with patellar instability. Risk factors for recurrent dislocation included age less than 18 years (Odds ratio [OR]: 2.56, 95% CI: 1.63 to 4.0), skeletal immaturity (OR: 1.79, 95% CI: 1.21 to 2.64) and presence of trochlear dysplasia (OR: 3.37, 95% CI: 1.85 to 6.15).

CONCLUSION: Knowledge of patho-morphological factors associated with patellar instability could help explain its pathophysiological processes, allowing for the design of treatment approaches and the identification of patients at risk.

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